Do Not Cast Me From Your Presence
I’m guessing if you’re like me, you’re aware of sin in your life, but not so keen to talk about it. Last night my wife and I were watching a fascinating program about cults, but at one point someone was being interviewed about a topic that was sexually explicit. As I followed the conversation I realized my own thoughts had crossed over into lust - but instead of stopping the program and sharing with my wife I just kept silent. This morning I had to stop and ask forgiveness from the Lord, and later today I know I need to do the same with my wife.
As Christians we know the moment we come to faith our sins are forgiven (justification); however we also know we still struggle with sin this side of heaven, and that our transgressions can cause a break in fellowship - not only with other believers but also with the Lord. I’m so glad the Bible shows us the real King David, a man “after God’s own heart” who committed some of most heinous acts imaginable. When confronted with his sin, how did David react? Did he try to defend himself, shift the blame or make excuses? Thankfully no - David realized he was the problem, and went directly to the Lord to seek forgiveness and restoration, writing in Psalm 51:10-11, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”
Joni Eareckson Tada knows all about the struggle with sin; it would be easy to assume there must be a halo floating above her wheelchair, but whenever she shares her testimony Joni is brutally honest about her daily battle with the ugliness of sin. In her devotional “Do Not Cast Me From Your Presence,” Joni begins with this observation about our sin - “There is nothing worse as a believer than when you deliberately, willfully sin—and then sense the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in your life.”
What’s the answer to this serious problem? Confession and forgiveness. Joni writes:
It’s time to freely confess our sins to the Lord, receive His boundless grace and forgiveness, and then invite the Holy Spirit to fill us afresh. And let’s ask God to keep us from disobeying Him, even when the shorter, easier route seems so tempting. Today is the day to keep your heart pure, your spirit bright, and your conscience clear. Because no sin, no transgression, is worth risking the nearness of God’s wonderful Spirit.
Do you feel far from God today? Maybe there is sin that needs to be confessed; take a moment, search your heart like David, and see what the Lord has to say.