“Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you” (Psalm 51:9-11, NLT).
All of us commit sins and our sinning is usually accompanied by a personal sense of guilt. We’ve failed God…
While the psalmist understood that he needed absolution from the guilt of sin as legal consequence of God’s universal justice system, he also understood that guilt had serious and debilitating psychological and spiritual consequences for individuals that needed to be addressed before God.
When the psalmist sinned, he repented and asked God to forgive his sin because he knew all sin was an act of opposition or rebellion against God: “Have mercy on me, O God…Against you, and you alone, have I sinned” (vs. 1,4). But the psalmist also asked God to remove the residual guilt that accompanied his sin: “Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin” (vs. 2).
To the psalmist, sin caused him to be spiritually incapacitated by guilt and so he asked God not only to forgive his sin but to clean up the stain of guilt. And, he realized that the guilt-stained heart could be cleansed only by the restorative power of God’s Spirit.
If you sin, you should ask God to forgive the sin and cleanse your heart and mind from guilt. Then you will be enabled once again to obey God and accomplish His will with a clear conscience.
God is anxious to restore you from sin. When you seek restoration from sin, the Holy Spirit will cleanse your heart and mind by renewing your spirit and restoring the joy of your salvation!
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:20, NLT)