A WILLING Heart
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
This is an interesting connection, our spiritual joy and a willing spirit. Most christians “know” what the christian life should look like. They know how to be a better mom or dad. They know what actions to take to improve their marriage. They even know about tithing and supporting the work of God. Most of the time lack of knowledge is not our problem, the problem is not having a willing heart. David draws an amazing connection in his prayer between joy and the willing heart. You see joy comes from the presence of the Lord, the impact of the anointing is to bring us into a place of pleasure in His presence, from here our heart is changed, the result, a delight to do the will of God. His will no longer appears as a sacrifice but a pleasure that is unequaled anywhere in this life. This is the fruit or the evidence of a changed life, a willing spirit that finds pleasure in the work of God. Albert Barnes zeros in on the connection between renewal and the willing heart, here are some of his comments on this verse.
“It would seem here to mean a “willing spirit,” referring to David’s own mind or spirit; and the prayer is, that God would uphold or sustain him in a “willing” spirit or state of mind; that is, a state of mind in which he would he “willing” and ready to obey all the commands of God, and to serve him faithfully. What he prayed for was grace and strength that he might be kept in a state of mind which would be constant and firm Psa 51:10, and a state in which he would always be found “willing” and “ready” to keep the commandments of God. It is a proper object of prayer by all that they may be always kept in a state of mind in which they will be willing to do all that God requires of them, and to bear all that may be laid on them.”
The human will is an interesting phenomenon, God created us with a free will, that free will has been hopelessly enslaved by sin to the point that we no longer do what we want or know to be right, the shackles of sin lead us in the pursuit of sinful pleasures. Only the power of God found in His forgiveness and in the renewal of the Spirit can bring freedom into our lives. As David, prayed,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
The restoration of fellowship with God breaks those sinful chains and brings us into the liberty of the Christian life, it’s in that place of freedom from sin that our lives really begin.