Friday, April 12, 2013

Steadfast Spirit

In the beginning of the year, my dear friends and accountability group partners went on a wonderful retreat that was much-needed for all of us. Each of us lead a devotion time and they were all spirit-filled. Marcy with Ben and Me had a special activity for us to do during her devotion. We were to create a heart map to help us reflect on people, things and ideas that we want our hearts to focus on this year.

The key verse she had chosen just happened to be the same as what I had shared in my devotion; these were individually planned prior to our retreat. I would say that's God's Providence working!

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10
In the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary, renew means "to revive, to make fresh/new; to implant holy affections in the heart; to regenerate". Steadfast means "firmly fixed or established; constant; steady". While steady is defined as "not easily moved or persuaded; to support; to hold or keep from shaking or falling".
This verse has been placed on my heart several times since the retreat. The interesting thing is I am just now realizing it! Reflecting back on the past few months, I now see that the Lord has really been tugging at my heart. I believe that He knows how much more I needed renewal than I dare to admit.  
Lately, I've been also meditating on the extension of that verse which reads:

"Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
Psalm 51:11-12

Restore means "to replace; to return; as a person or thing to a former place; to repair, to revive; to bring back after absence; to bring to a sense of sin and amendment of life; to renew or re-establish after interruption; as, peace is restored." Sustain is defined as "to bear; to uphold; to support; to maintain; to keep alive; to endure without failing or yielding".

I am thankful for the Lord's patience and persistence. I am so glad that He never gives up on me and how he lovingly convicts me for my own good! His forgiveness sets me free from my guilt and shame of so much time spent on other things that I felt were so important. Maybe I needed that time to open my eyes and bring me back to what's really important; learning at my Father's feet and spending time with Him so that His Spirit can work in me to the hearts of my children. I will continue to meditate on these verses and pray through them so that my joy may be complete in Him and not what this world has to offer.

Thank you Lord for working in my heart and renewing a Spirit within me that will not be easily shaken and reviving my soul with your joy and fulfillment that You alone can give!

If you are curious to read more about our retreat, R is for Renew, Refresh, Reflect, Rest, Read . . . Retreat! is an excellent post from Marcy! I encourage you to create a heart map of your own and include a life verse for you to meditate on. 

While you're here, enjoy the song below and be blessed!

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