Are you sometimes out of sorts? Completely at odds with yourself? Snarled up inside to the degree that you don’t recognize yourself for reacting so badly?
Hopefully, your answer to these questions is, “Not often.” But there are those days when, deep within us, something has gone wrong—and we need a renewed spirit.
Challenges We Face
I am very grateful to be living in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a beautiful location in so many ways, and it is a lovely city to call home. As with any place on earth, however, Charlotte has its downsides. One of the most prominent of those is the traffic.
Charlotte is known as NASCAR territory—an area famous for its car racing presence and history. Unfortunately, this NASCAR environment seems to produce some everyday drivers who consider the city highways their own personal raceways. Speeding, tailgating, darting abruptly in and out of traffic lanes at high speeds, they can be a real menace. Almost every day during my commute to the DPM office, I have a “traffic encounter” that threatens to curdle my spirit and ruin my day. I have to deal with the irritation boiling up in me, potentially turning my insides from right to wrong.
It takes a conscious daily decision to put those incidents out of my mind. Often, as I pull into the DPM parking area after enduring this daily challenge, I have to take a minute to breathe and recover—asking the Lord to renew a right spirit within me.
Whether it is something as mundane and trivial as traffic irritation or a more major spiritual challenge or failure in our lives, you and I face circumstances that threaten to produce a wrong spirit in us. The adversities of the world around us; repetitive sins in our own lives; anxiety about the future. These kinds of issues are always lurking under the surface—poised to disturb and dishearten us, producing a wrong spirit in us.
Let’s not be discouraged by this fact of life. According to what we read in the Bible, some of God’s choicest servants also battled to keep their spirits right and clean in their relationship with the Lord—battling irritation and sin. You and I are in good company.
One of our most prominent Biblical “role models” in this regard is David, the person whom God called “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).
Our Guide for Repentance
Even though King David was one of God’s choicest servants, Scripture records his mistakes and his egregious sins. Despite his status as one of the greatest figures of the entire Bible, David succumbed to the sins of adultery and murder. Some Christian historians may have preferred to delete from the Holy Bible those unsavory incidents from David’s life. But they are there to enlighten us—and to teach us how to respond.
Here is some simple advice for you and me whenever we sin: “Read Psalm 51!” The introduction to Psalm 51 says: “A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” Confronted by his guilt and sin, David had a poignant and frank conversation with the Lord in Psalm 51. This passage is God’s and David’s gift to us, showing how we should pray and repent whenever we fall into sin.
For our purposes here, we cite David’s clear cry in verse 10 (KJV): “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” A renewed, right spirit!
The Role of the Spirit
You and I can’t go wrong when we pray the words of Psalm 51 as an act of repentance and contrition before the Lord. But one main point we shouldn’t miss is how much this psalm talks about “spirit”—our spirit, as well as the Holy Spirit. Verse 10 talks about the renewal of a right spirit (which most versions translate as “a steadfast spirit.”)
In verse 12(KJV), David asks this of God; “uphold me with a willing spirit.” Later, in verse 14 (NIV), David makes this profound remark: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit.” Then he adds: “A broken and contrite heart You, O God, will not despise.”
The connection to the Holy Spirit comes in David’s cry from verse 11: “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” What is the psalmist telling us? That our only hope for restoration after we sin is to tuck into God’s presence (not run and hide as Adam and Eve did when they sinned) and to allow the Holy Spirit to minister to our tainted spirit. When we ask Him to give us a steady and willing spirit by the power of His Spirit, allowing our twisted spirit to break and repent in His presence—then, and only then, will we receive a renewed, right spirit within us.
A New Beginning
Derek Prince talked about these principles in one of his three-week radio series called “A New Beginning.” In week 2, Derek specifically talked about David’s prayer for a renewed spirit in that context: a new start—not only for David, but for everyone of us who makes the request for God to renew a right and steadfast spirit within us.
The third great result that is produced in our hearts and lives by God’s salvation is renewal. We’ve looked at the first two—washing, rebirth. Now we’ll look at renewal.
Once again, we can turn back to David’s prayer in Psalm 51, verse 10. This is what David cried out for: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Here again, every person who is truly confronted with the reality of the sins he has committed must come to the same place of longing for a new start.
That is why my messages this week have that title—"A New Beginning.” That is what David cried out for. That is what you and I cry out for. That is what we all need—and it is what God offers us.
He offers us washing, rebirth, and renewal.
Praying for Renewal
Has the quote we just shared from Derek touched a tender place in your heart? Do you need a new start? Does your spirit need to be renewed today? If your answer is “YES,” let’s go together to the Lord in prayer right now. Will you join me?
Dear Lord Jesus, I long for a new start. I need a right spirit within me. Sometimes, everything around me threatens to turn my spirit from joyful to sullen; from hopeful to desolate; from right to wrong. This is especially true after I have sinned against You—when I have stepped way out of line and when I haven’t walked with You in a righteous, upright way.
Please forgive me, Lord. Please renew a right spirit within me.
As I come into Your presence through this prayer, I am thankful that You promise not to cast me out or reject me. Instead, You welcome me because of the power of the blood of Jesus. In this precious moment, Lord, I ask You to minister to my hurting spirit by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
Only then—when Your Spirit ministers to my spirit—will the restoration come. Thank You for renewing a right spirit within me. Amen.
A Daily Routine
There is so much more in the way of revelation in Psalm 51—a wide array of helpful and sustaining truths. But today, you and I have focused on just one key element of that psalm—our need for a renewed spirit. Don’t be surprised if this becomes a daily routine—adjusting and maintaining your spirit, making it right through God’s help.
All of us here at Derek Prince Ministries want to be of help as well. Your continuing renewal and restoration are a high priority for us, and we are honored to be a partner with you in your walk with the Lord. Please feel free to download a free MP3 of “A New Beginning, Part 2,” the second week of the radio series from which we drew Derek’s helpful quote. Just use the link below.
It is our pleasure and privilege to make it available to you at no charge—just a small token of our gratitude for the prayers you offer on our behalf and the gifts you send to support us. We send deepest thanks from all of our DPM workers worldwide.
A Prophetic Renewal
As I close this letter, a story from Scripture comes strongly to mind: the miracle Elisha performed at the spring which fed the city of Jericho. In 2 Kings 2:19, we see that although the city had a favorable location, its spring was tainted: “the water is bad, and the ground barren.” Could those same terms be compared to an unhealthy, wrong spirit?
To remedy this “bad water” situation, Elisha called for a new bowl with salt in it. Then he went to the source of Jericho’s water supply and threw the salt in there, proclaiming this prophetic word over it: “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness’” (verse 21).
Picture your wounded, tainted spirit as that spring right now. Lately, it may have yielded only negative, unfruitful influences upon your life. That changes today! Right now, please envision Elisha throwing salt into your spirit, declaring the word of the Lord for healing, restoration, and fruitfulness. Can you see it happening at this very moment?
Your renewal comes today as you cry out to God: renew a right spirit within me!
All the best,
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