Renew a Steadfast Spirit Within Me

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Renew a Steadfast Spirit Within Me

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There are so many times I find myself praying for forgiveness, because I realize once again I am falling short in my spiritual disciplines.

It is just so difficult for me to do the little things—like getting up 20 minutes earlier or even praying at night when I am so ready to collapse into bed. When I realize I have fallen short again I feel like a broken record and then I feel like I’m not being sincere. How can I genuinely ask God’s forgiveness for the same sin over and over again?

I have had many conversations with other Christians where we all admit we largely struggle with the same sins over and over again in our lives. I feel sometimes like the things I struggle with are not so much huge, catastrophic David and Bathsheba type sins, but rather a daily lack of zeal for what is most important. Which is…kind of embarrassing actually. I love God. I love His Ways. I love His holy plan and days He has commanded. I love His Sabbath. And yet I can’t seem to get myself on a consistent prayer/Bible study schedule. How is that?!

So I turned to a place I often turn when I am frustrated with myself: Psalm 51. This time through I noticed something I really wanted to share. There are not one, but two places in this Psalm where David asks for something I never noticed before. The first one is in verse 10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” The second one is in verse 12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalms 51:10-12 Psalms 51:10-12 [10] Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. [11] Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me. [12] Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added).

This is exactly what I realized I need to pray for. I need to pray that God not only forgives my past sins of placing other things before Him (sleep, entertainment, hobbies, etc.) but I need to pray that He gives me a steadfast spirit.

Steadfast means “fixed in purpose, direction and resolution.” Other definitions included “unwavering” and “fixed in place.” This describes exactly what I want to be: fixed in my purpose, unwavering in my commitment, resolute in my spiritual pursuit, having a steadfast gaze on my goal. I need a steadfast spirit to help me get up every morning, to help me with my physical disciplines, to help me fight against my own desires.

David asked for it and I believe it would serve us all well to continually ask for a steadfastness of spirit and a willing spirit, to sustain us when our flesh fights against what we know to be most important. I hope that helps you as it helped me. Self-examination can be tough and it’s nice to know even David, who God said was “a man after God’s own heart,” had to pray for steadfastness of spirit.

We are not alone in our daily and seemingly frivolous struggles. Here’s to much prayer, filled with requests for a steadfast spirit and for becoming men and women after God’s own heart as well!