“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Your spirit is the most crucial thing you must guard. If your spirit is defeated or is not right, Satan will have an advantage over you and you will not live a victorious Christian life. In sports, if you can defeat the opponent’s spirit, you can defeat them quite easily. Most of the battle is guarding your spirit so that you can serve the LORD in confidence.
David understood the importance of protecting the spirit. After he committed adultery, his spirit was not right and he knew it; this is why he asked God to help his spirit in four areas. David knew that if he could keep his spirit right that he would be able to stay right with God and continue to be an influence on others. In this psalm, four types of spirit are revealed that the believer who is right with the LORD will have.
First, you must have a right spirit. The verse above says, “…and renew a right spirit within me.” There are many people who do right, but their spirit isn’t right when they do it. Having a right spirit will help what you do to have the greatest impact for Christ. Sin took the right spirit away from David, and he knew he needed it back so that his thoughts were not thoughts of evil, but of good. It was the wrong spirit that caused David to have Uriah killed, and David wanted nothing to do with a spirit that was evil. Keeping your spirit right always helps you to treat others properly.
Second, you need the Holy Spirit’s power. David said in verse 11, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” David saw firsthand in Saul’s life what happens when the Holy Spirit leaves a person. David didn’t want the evil spirit that Saul had, and that is why he asked God to not take His Holy Spirit from him. Your greatest fear should be that you don’t wake up one morning as Samson did and not even know that the Spirit of God has left you. If your life grieves the Holy Spirit, you can be assured that He won’t empower you, and you won’t have a right spirit.
Third, you need a free spirit. Verse 12 says, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” One of the greatest battles you will fight when you have done wrong or sinned is the battle of wondering what others think about you. David needed the free spirit where he no longer thought about what others said or thought about him. He needed the free spirit so that he could have confidence while serving the LORD. You must guard yourself from wondering what others think about you. You need a free and confident spirit to serve the LORD without intimidation or fear of what others are thinking or saying about you. When you can conquer those thoughts, you will find your spirit is free to serve the LORD in confidence.
Fourth, you need a broken spirit. Verse 17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Your attitude towards sin goes a long ways to how the Holy Spirit will work in your life. Let me give you fair warning that if sin doesn’t bother you, you are walking on dangerous grounds. When you can do wrong and you don’t feel guilty about it is when Satan has you one step away from destruction. A broken spirit towards sin is the proper spirit towards sin. If your spirit is broken when you do wrong, you will find your desire to serve the LORD will be stronger than your desire to enjoy sin.