God's Holy Fire: 'Don't Take Your Spirit Away'

Friday, July 14, 2023

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
— Psalm 51:11 NIV

Key Thought

This desperate cry for God's forgiveness is from King David to God in David's deep sorrow for his sin with Bathsheba. The king before David, Saul, had blatantly disobeyed God and sought to rationalize his sin. God took his Holy Spirit from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). So David's cry is understandable: In the Old Testament, God's Spirit normally didn't come to dwell in his people permanently. However, I believe that the New Testament teaches that when the Holy Spirit comes into people at their conversion, this gift of the Spirit is permanent. They can grieve, quench, resist, and ignore the Spirit's influence, but God doesn't take the Spirit away from them. Jesus promised that the gift of the Spirit would be with us forever (John 14:14-16). In a chapter focusing on the Holy Spirit, Paul talked about nothing separating us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39). As followers of Jesus in whom the Holy Spirit lives, we shouldn't have the concern David voices. Instead, when we hear David's heart-wrenching cry, we need to be reminded of three things:
  1. We need to be thankful for this precious gift of the Holy Spirit, God's presence within us, to be with us until we go home to the Father (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22).
  2. We need to be reminded of the hurtfulness of sin to the Spirit of God living within us (Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21).
  3. We need to commit to honoring God with what we do, think, and say (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Today's Prayer

O Father, I cannot fully comprehend the wonder of you coming to live inside me through your Holy Spirit. As the temple in which you live by the Holy Spirit, I commit to living my life aware that every breath, every thought, every action is part of my worship to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


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Illustration of Psalm 51:11 NIV — Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.