When you think of biblical characters whose hearts were right and who followed hard after God, who tops your list? For me, it’s David. Every time I read one of his psalms, I can feel the “heart” behind it. All the psalms are amazing, but David’s spirit always comes through to me. His close relationship with God is evident in his words.

In 1 Samuel 11, however, something in David’s spirit went incredibly wrong. He somehow drifted so far from the God he loves that he was willing to commit adultery, treachery, and murder. How did he get here? We’re not told, but we are given a hint. Power almost always corrupts, especially when paired with peace and prosperity. David had all of these in abundance, but he wanted “just a little bit more.” His spirit had gone wrong, and the Holy Spirit was absent.

Galatians 5:16 tells us, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” That was what David forgot to do.

How do we walk by the Spirit? It is clear in Psalm 51 that this involves a broken spirit and a humble heart, willing to be made right. That is how we stay right before God and walk in his power and victory.

Have you wandered far? Or are you being enticed by sin today but have not yet wandered? It doesn’t matter where you are, you can have a clean heart and a right spirit before God. Choose to walk by his Holy Spirit today.

Lord, you know how many times I have wandered and how often I am tempted to wander. Please, keep my heart soft, my spirit right, and fill me with your Holy Spirit today. Enable me to walk in your joy and power and to honor you, today and every day! Amen.

Go Deeper — Write down the verses from Psalm 51:10-11 and read them out loud several times today. Tonight, analyze if there was any difference in how you dealt with situations and other people. Did you feel closer to God?

Read Further — There are lures that can entice us to wander just like David did. Read about these spiritual idols and addictions.

Tags: Life in the Spirit Psalm 51
Photo Credit: Yoal Desurmont