Psalm 51:1-13

Read Psalm 51:1-13
We were never made to carry our own sin. But we almost always hate to confess it. Even something as simple as asking who left the milk out all night can end up being a complete mystery, with no one owning up to a little forgetfulness. We so desire to be right that we can refuse to admit even our simple mistakes. It’s noticeable in our kids too. When they carry guilt for a sinful action or a lie, they often resist relationship with us or even act out further, as if they know they must be found out.
In Psalm 51, we see that David understands his need to be found out and he is desperate to confess his sin. This man that is referred to in I Samuel 13:14 as ‘a man after God’s own heart’, is completely aware of his wrongdoing. Because he so desired to follow God, his sin fully consumed his thoughts: ‘my sin is ever before me’. (Psalm 51:3) The darkness in his soul was too much to bear and he earnestly confesses in verses 1-4.
David then asks God to purify, wash, renew, and sustain him. In verse 11 he pleads for God’s presence to stay near and petitions God for the Holy Spirit to reside with him. David understands that the Spirit of God is the one that gives joy and will sustain him, even empowering him to lead others to God.
This is yet another role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives and heart, this important role of convicting us of sin and wrongdoing. Again and again we see God moving toward us, providing all we need to walk with him. He provides the Holy Spirit to stir us to confession so that we might be clean, purified, and restored.
Recently a close friend and I experienced a significant disagreement and communication ended. It was heartbreaking to be at odds with this friend of 20+ years. At the time I was convinced there would be no restoration. There would be no more trips together, no more sharing of gifts, no more times of uncontrollable laughter, and no more texts requesting prayer. It felt bleak, wrong, and empty. Sad and without hope, I waited. But the Holy Spirit was at work in both of us. After some weeks we talked and confessed to each other our part of the ugly conversation that caused it all to spiral. The dark, sad, and emptiness was gone, and in one fairly short conversation we agreed we desired restoration and we promised to work to keep our accounts short so that we could remain in the friendship.
It is grace that God gave us the Holy Spirit. He gently leads us to admit fault and then confess it to him and to the person we’ve wronged. We were never made to carry our own sin. Jesus did it all.
Questions for reflection:

  1.  How reluctant are you to confess sin or mistakes?
  2.  Is there anyone you are at odds with?
  3.  Just for today, try to be sensitive when you are convicted of sin and confess right away.
Linda Miller | Ministry Development

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