Text: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
“Cast me not away from Thy (Holy) Presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.”
Good morning, backsliding Christian! It matters not that you have been soundly saved, and seeking to diligently serve the risen Lord Jesus for many years; nor that you are qualified as a Pastor, Bible Teacher, Missionary, or Sunday-School Teacher, etc. You have wandered wilfully into sin; know the grief of Spiritual separation from your Holy Lord God; have grieved deeply God the Spirit Who has condescended to live within you and I; and you have not yet confessed and sought to forsake your sinfulness.
If this describes YOU or ME, then we are BACKSLIDDEN – we are living a lie; our sins have separated us from a Lord God Whose Holiness will NOT permit even one unconfessed sin to go unpunished. An absolute Holy Lord God MUST punish all sin!
There is no other honest way of perceiving this situation, beloved friend in Christ. Both you and I, and all genuine, born again, Bible-believing Christians, must recognise SIN for what it is – disobedience to God, betrayal of His Holiness; treachery to Christ Jesus Who has suffered for us and died for us, went down into Hell for us, and arose on the third day to fully justify us as sinless in the sight of our Holy Father in Heaven.
Our sin is therefore utter treason against the Holy Person of King Jesus Christ! God Divinely detests all sin! It has to be confessed and forsaken right NOW!
“If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth (Christ Jesus) is not in us...If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out a liar, and His Word (Christ Jesus) is not in us.” (1 John 1:8; 10) (John 1:1;14)
“Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)
If you and I are backslidden into sin, the Lord will not even listen to our prayers, cannot have fellowship with us because of our sin, for our sin separates us from our thrice Holy Lord God! Our sin (even as genuine Christians) and God’s absolute Holiness, are profoundly serious subjects that we must take into constant consideration – IF we desire to walk in the light with our Holy Lord God, or serve Christ Jesus in any given capacity. FACT.
“If I regard iniquity (sin) in my heart (entire essence of being), the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18)
Seeking to pray to God and to worship Him – while harbouring unconfessed sin in our hearts – is merely talking to the ceiling of our houses. God is not listening! Confess, and forsake that sin now!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Verse 11. “Cast me not away from Thy Presence. Throw me not away as worthless; banish me not, like Cain, from Thy face and favour. Permit me to sit among those who share Thy love, though I only be suffered to keep the door. I deserve to be forever denied admission to Thy courts; but O good Lord, permit me still the privilege which is dear as life itself to me.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 241)
Oh the deep and utter grief we cause both ourselves and God the Holy Spirit within us, when we yield to the temptation to sin. There is no one as downcast as the backsliding Christian! There is no one as disgustedly grieved as God the Holy Spirit living within such a true regenerate Christian believer. No sin is worth such utter and Divine levels of abject grief.
Verse 12. “Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation. None but God can give back this joy; He can do it; we may ask it; He will do it for His own glory and our benefit. This joy comes not first, but follows pardon and purity: in such order it is safe, in any other it is vain presumption or idiotic delirium.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 241)
Note also, that the Psalmist is not asking for his Salvation to be restored, because it is an Eternal Salvation that is given to the sinner who is given faith and repentance as God’s free gifts. No, it is the ‘joy of Thy Salvation’ that the penitent Psalmist is seeking restored. Sin steals the joy of Salvation, because Divine joy is found only in God’s Holy Presence. Our sin banishes us from the Holy Presence of our righteous Lord God.
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy Presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
“How can God restore that which He took not away? For can I charge God with the taking away the joy of His Salvation from me? O gracious God, I charge not Thee with taking it, but myself for losing it (by sinning against God).” (Sir Richard Baker 1568-1645)
When we Christians sin, we create our own deep grief, and immediately lose the Holy Spirit’s Divine joy. No sin is worth such a profound loss!
Verse 12. “Uphold me with Thy free Spirit. I am tempted to think that I am now an established Christian, that I have overcome this or that lust so long that I may venture very near the temptation, nearer than other men.
“This is the lie of Satan. I might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit a power of resisting fire, so as not to catch the spark. As long as powder is wet, it resists the spark, but when it becomes dry it is ready to explode at the first touch. As long as the Spirit dwells in my heart, He deadens me to sin; so that if lawfully called through temptation, I may reckon upon God’s carrying me through. But when the Spirit leaves me, I am like dry gunpowder. Oh the sense of this!” (Robert Murray M’Cheynne 1813-1843)
Thought: We Christians have a choice: we can have sin, or we can have Christ: we cannot have both at the same time. No sin is ever equal in worth to our soul’s Salvation in Christ Jesus. Let us keep short account of our exceptional sins. Forgive us, dear, Lord?