Take Not Thy Holy Spirit
"Cast me not away from Thy presence; and
take not Thy Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11)
David the king cried "take not Thy Holy
Spirit from me" because he sinned! He REALLY sinned – and
what he did was terrible! The wonder of it all, was that God did NOT
take His Holy Spirit from this man, who committed adultery and then
murdered to cover it up!
And what about you and me? If we think WE have not sinned, we
just don’t understand ourselves or people in general. If you think
you have sinned TOO MUCH and can’t be forgiven, you don’t see the
grace and the mercy of God, extended so freely in Christ Jesus. He
gives gifts, even to those (all of us) who really don’t deserve
I have noticed there is a sudden onset of the gifts of God in our
lives. Some are gifts from birth, such as the ability to walk, or
run, or use our hands; the capacity to think, or to see. If we have
a spouse, is it because we’re so good looking? - Or has God blessed
us? I meet people who cannot even BREATHE on their own, let alone
walk or move their bodies. Some of them are glad for what they DO
have, but others are not even sure they want to be alive.
The "natural" gifts are really supernatural in origin, since they
are gifts of God. The one who runs well, through God’s sovereign
choice, like the one who can THINK, or SEE better than others,
usually does not think of what they have as a gift. And when some of
these gifts are taken away, many think their "rights" have somehow
been violated, and they tend to get angry with God.
There are other kinds of gifts, given by God. You maybe have not
thought about it, but the ability to pray is an incredible gift and
privilege, and it is available to all. Prayer is an audience with
the King, and He does not shout, "off with your head", when you come
into His presence, but instead He LISTENS to your petition.
He always answers, too. His answer may not be "yes" in your case
or in mine. He knows what we need, more than WE do, and a "yes" to a
request, might ultimately be the worst thing that ever happened. You
might be ruined by that which seems so important right now. But He
hears, and He answers, and if you "listen" with your heart, you will
"hear" His response. And the Holy Spirit will prompt you to pray the
prayer you really should have been praying, all this time.
The "spiritual gifts" like "teaching", tend to come suddenly into
our lives. That was the experience of the followers of Jesus, who
actually had very little to offer, but SUDDENLY (Acts 2:4 & context)
they were DIFFERENT men and women. God gives us gifts, often without
warning, and partaking of them gives great pleasure to His little
ones (you and me).
I had an interesting experience some years ago – but first, let
me tell you how I teach. When I teach, I pray. When I prepare to
teach, I pray constantly. If there is a "yes" in my heart, then I
present it, but if not, I usually don’t, for without the Lord, I
really have nothing to say (none of us do).
On October 29, 1995, I was speaking at Sunday services for a
convalescent home in Long Beach, California. In my journal of that
evening, I wrote, "there was no power, no gift of teaching; only a
lady who loudly complained, and another who shouted ‘Get me out of
here!’" I didn’t mind the words, but there was no strength in me for
the moment, and it seemed like His Holy Spirit had been taken from
me. What about the next Friday Study I was to teach? Without His
Spirit, we are not right for His people. What would I do?
I was grief stricken, for I thought of teaching as "my" gift; His
treasure within. It is my JOY to share His Word. But what I
discovered was interesting. For on the next Friday morning, it all
was like nothing had ever happened and we were blessed by His Word.
And on subsequent Sundays and Fridays, the "faucet" in me was "on",
and those lovely people listened with quiet reverence to the Word of
What I found in all this was: it is not really the "gift" I want
at all (though I LOVE that gift). What I really want is HIM who
gives the gift.
My focus had been wrong. The gift is for the glory of God who
gives it, and for those others who may learn of Him. It has little
to do with the person who has that gift, except he or she reasonably
should thank God daily for His mercy and grace. It is not whether I
will have anything to say to you next Friday or Sunday – it is
instead a PRIVILEGE to be His servant and also the servant of those
who are open to the Word of God.
The one who runs well, just like the one who prays well, should
do so for the glory of God. Paul understood that, and he said "Run
in such a way that you may win" (1 Corinthians 9:24). He used
the analogy of an Olympic runner, illustrating a reality in which we
"run" by sharing the good news of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (through whatever gifts we may have),
revealing His love.
You and I are sinners just like David, for we see that "ALL
have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans
3:23). Not long after that verse, Paul quoted David from Psalm 32:1,
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have
been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered" (Romans
4:7). David’s sins were dramatic and obvious, but usually the worst
sins in us are subtle and difficult to see, covered as they are with
At some point, it will be posed to us (all are given this "test")
– What (Who) do you love more? Do you love the "gift" or do you love
the Giver OF the gift? He gives you everything, no matter how much
or how little you may think you have. Are you grateful? Do you
delight in Him for what you have? Or do you just want more, and feel
Father, we need Your Holy Spirit more than life itself, and yet
we have often preferred Your gifts to You, the Giver of life.
Forgive us, Lord, and cleanse us of our sins. All that we are, all
that we have, is Yours, and we are Yours, as well. We surrender,
Lord, our cares, our worries, and our "rights". Fill us, Holy Spirit
and guide us. We come to You now, and TRUST in You. In Jesus Name.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries