Read: Psalm 51:12
Remember: "Salavation means the healing and rescue of a body that is brought back to the way it was intended. (Eugene Peterson)" Salvation is not just for our souls; it's for every part of our being. every part of our lives. It is the process of being brought back into a personal, intimate relationship with God, the way it was designed from the beginning. Salvation is rebirth, a coming alive again. (Page 183, You Are Free)
Reflect: Do you ever feel stagnant in your faith or feel like you are just going through the motions? Has your sin distanced you from your God making Him seem far out there? That is what happened to David. He sinned with Bathsheba and had just been confronted by Nathan. David cried, "Restore to me the joy Your salvation." God wants us to be close with Him and to experience His full and complete life. Unconfessed sin makes that impossible. That is what puts the distance between us and God and makes that intimacy seem absent. If we have unconfessed sin we are called to come to our God and pour it out all over Him. He knows, He understands, and He loves us no matter what we have done. Have you ever felt that distance and just that aloneness? I sure have -furthermore there is sometimes denial and justification of my behavior that accompanies my unconfessed sin. Ugh! it can be a painful "wrestling it out" with the Lord . And yes, after we confess our sin to the Lord we may have earthly consequences as David did, but the good news is God WILL give back the joy of our relationship with Him. This is what closes that gap we feel and "rights" us. It's relief, it's healing for our body and soul. It's a coming alive again, it's salvation. Its been a long road for me to figure out there really is a God that loves me for all my imperfections , my sin, and my messes. He always knows better that me. He is waiting patiently for me to come to Him with my stuff. I really don't have to be out there all alone making up the rules. His word is where I choose to be today.
Rest: We read only one verse today. One verse. So, we have time to read it over and over . There are plenty of moments to write in on cards and place them all over our spaces. What a reminder! I want God to restore that joy of my salvation, don't you?? Only He can do it. So, I believe there is no greater activity of rest today than to flood the throne of God's grace with the request for more joy. The very next verse says," THEN I will teach transgressors Your ways." David got it right! We have to commit to learning the reality of some lessons for ourselves before we turn to teach anyone else.
Heavenly Father, we come to You today in confession. We desperately want that closeness with You and we confess it's our sin that creates this problem. Please forgive us, Father and save us from ourselves. How gracious You are to unconditionally love us when we seem to continually mess it all up. Thank You for the endless opportunities You offer to come to You and ask forgiveness. There is nothing we can do that surprises You or that is unforgivable. Give us contrite hearts. "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me" (Psalm 51:12). Yes, THIS is what we want! Restore what is broken and separates us from living full lives in You. Lord, we ask for JOY, not the fleeting happiness found in this world. Let Your joy in us speak loudly for all to hear. Amen.