King David was the greatest King of Israel. As a young man he faced an armored Philistine giant with God, a sling, and a few rocks. God gave David the victory. David’s love for God was so great that he committed his life to Him. This intimate relationship that David had with God is expressed in Psalm 143:8-11, “Let me hear of Your unfailing love for me in the morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I have come to You in prayer…Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of Your name, O Lord…”
We loved David in his youth as we read about him as a godly young man. How disappointed we are as we come to the pages in God’s Word where he fell into sin. Can you imagine how David must have felt when Nathan the prophet confronted him about adultery with Bathsheba? David had experienced many blessings God had given him, power, mercy, and grace, yet he became disobedient to his Lord for a pretty face. “…And the woman was very beautiful in appearance.”
David is sad; he is lonely; he feels so empty. And in his emptiness, he understands what it feels like to not walk with God. He has experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; He has experienced the joy of salvation, and now he feels alone.
So he prayed this prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take away You Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Every day all of us, men and women, face the same kind of temptation to which David yielded. “…Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience...”
In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states, “Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice. While temptation is Satan’s primary weapon to destroy you, God wants to use it to develop you. Every time you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ.”
In his chapter, “Defeating Temptation,” Rick Warren states, “There is always a way out. You may sometimes feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that’s a lie from Satan. God has promised never to allow more on you than he put within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However, you must do your part by practicing four biblical keys to defeating temptation. 1) Focus your attention on something else, 2) Reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group, 3) Resist the Devil, and 4) Realize your vulnerability.”
Sometimes God’s “way out” is not found because, in the situation, we don’t spend enough time looking for it.
The beauty of David’s prayer is that the Lord answered it. In Christ Jesus our sins are forgiven, our heart is made pure, our spirit is renewed, and we have joy of salvation once again.