Day Fourteen: Psalm – 51 – Guard Your Heart

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 14 - Psalm 51 - Guarding Our Heart

The Bible tells us to "guard our heart" because the condition of our hearts determines the quality of our life and destination of our souls. But how do we do that; how do we "guard" our hearts?  Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning with a desire to have a heart that pleases you. But often my heart seems to let us both down; my feelings and faith are up one moment and down the next, like some sort of crazy roller-coaster.  Help me to understand today how I can walk consistently before you with a clean heart. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

Psalm 51 is one of my favorite psalms. It so speaks to my need for transformation by the renewing of my mind by the Holy Spirit. The greatest war we fight as believers is not against Satan, but rather against our own minds. The war between what we believe and what we feel.  Often pain, need, lack, offense, all feel more real than the truth of God's word; this is a result of heart wherein the love of God has not yet been fully embraced. David wrote this psalm after one of this greatest failures; failure as a king, failure as a military commander, failure as a husband, and failure as a worshiper of God. From the depths of his grief and shame, he cries unto the Lord.  Pay particular attention to his heart; he isn't making excuses for his sin. He isn't minimizing his offenses.  He is crying out in anguish over his sin against a Holy loving God.  The end of the psalm is the key; it's not about your ability to keep the external law - making you constantly think about what to do and what not to do, it's the condition of your heart. Have you let the Holy Spirit in?  Have you been transparent and intimate with God?

Psalm 51
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner- yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me - now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.  Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit- with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

 

Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 51). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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