Our relationship verse today comes from David's confession and prayer after his multiple, grievous sins against Uriah, Bathsheba, and God.  His sins were especially heinous because God had blessed David with deliverance, and given him responsibility as King.  We live in a time when the exposure of a leader's sexual indiscretion feels like a daily occurrence. However, in David's case, "sexual indiscretion" doesn't fully describe his betrayal of God's trust on multiple levels. When a leader abuses power and position to fulfill out-of-control lust, then lies, deception, abuse of power, and worse — like murder in David's case  — can be involved. In addition, the person in a less powerful position is often grievously wounded and abused by the malicious use of power to fulfill out-of-control desires.
How do we avoid abusing our power and position?
How can we live and not be driven by a lust for sex, power, money, or influence?
How do we guard our hearts and keep our motives pure?
We can pray David's prayer because we need daily Spirit-led inner renovation! Our verse can be our daily prayer:
- Asking God to re-create us, make us holy, and renovate us from the inside out — "Create in me a clean heart..."
- Reminding us that our primary allegiance is to God and his ways — "...O God."
- Reawakening us to our need for God's help in recalibrating our hearts — "Renew...
- Seeking God's help to be righteous and loyal in our spirits so that this righteousness and loyalty show up in our lifestyle — "...a loyal spirit within me."
As I write this devotional on relationships, I am about to be gone on a two-week journey to Israel. When I travel, I know I will be tired, stressed, and tempted during my trip. I've decided to pray this prayer while I am on this journey. I hope you will join me in this prayer for the following two weeks. In this way, I will give this month to renewing my walk with the Lord, the Eternal God, to honor him!
O Father, I need the help of the Holy Spirit if I am going to live the fruit of the Spirit * in my daily walk with Jesus and my daily interactions with others. I know that my cravings for physical pleasures, personal acquisition, and prideful boasting about my achievements are rooted in fleshly worldliness and are not lasting. ^ I do not want these cravings to control me. $ Holy Spirit, please lead to becoming a suitable reflection of Jesus to others. # In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.