"Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:9-12
In the aftermath of having his adultery, murders and deceit exposed, David pleads with the Lord:
1. To create a new heart within him
2. To renew an unwavering spirit of trust/obedience
3. To not take the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit away
4. TO RESTORE THE JOY OF HIS SALVATION
5. TO UPHOLD HIM WITH A WILLING SPIRIT
“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.” CS Lewis
"In response to the question of whether happiness exists, Christian theology confesses that happiness exists, first, in ‘the happy God’ (1 Timothy 1:11) and second, in creatures designed and destined for happiness in communion with a happy God (Psalm 144:15)...in response to the the question of how happiness may be received, Christian theology confesses that divine happiness communicates to us, freely and abundantly through the Mediator of happiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (John 15:11, John 17:13, 24-26)." Scott Swain, President Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, “That Your Joy May Be Full”
We must understand that the triune God lives in the happy land of the trinity and is the perfection of happiness, joy and flourishing.
How to forfeit your happiness (as seen in the life of King David):
1. Slowly (and imperceptibly?) forget the tender mercies of the Lord (Psalm 103:1-5)
(Thus the plaintive cries, “renew a right spirit within me” v.10, or please take me back to the place of joyful obedience that once marked my life.)
2. Seek happiness in other things as you believe your press clippings or facebook ‘Likes’
3. Become very wise in your own eyes (Isaiah 5:21, Proverbs 26:12,16 versus Proverbs 3:5-6) (More wise than the One who is all wisdom.)
4. Accept gradually the revulsive nature and destructive power of sin. (This universal tendency underscores the statements made by Jesus about putting sin to death- Matthew 5:29-30)
How to inflame your happiness:
1. Continually rejoice in the character of the triune God.
2. Remember and rehearse the goodness of the Lord today and in the past.
3. Receive and apply the truth (Psalm 51:6,16-17).
4. Joyfully pursue the knowing and understanding of the character of God and enjoying him.
“God is most pleased when we pursue both primacies of knowledge in affection. The pursuit of the knowledge of God is insufficient. It must not serve as an end itself, but as a means to an end. The goal is to inflame the heart. The mind is to serve as a feeding trough for the soul.” R.C. Sproul, The Soul’s Quest for God, p. 5
5. As you perceive and know the truth, communicate it to your family, co-workers, neighbors, and friends. (Neighborhoods and the Nations) (v.13).
Uphold with a willing spirit (to sustain with unflinching energy). (Psalm 119:116)
“Such a spirit is God’s own antidote; that positive delight in his will, which David had largely lost in his prosperity and sin.” Derek Kidner