Scripture Reading: “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11)
We are reminded here, by this anxious cry of David’s, of the Apostle Paul’s fear of becoming a “castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). Whereas David feared being abandoned by God’s Spirit, Paul feared being shelved by the Spirit of God in the service of Christ. One was fearful of being cast aside—of being alienated from God—the other of becoming a castaway—of becoming useless to God. In David’s case, his fear stemmed from sins committed. In Paul’s case, his anxiety stemmed from the ever-present possibility of him committing such sins, especially if he failed to daily discipline himself and practice constant self-control.
What worse fate could possibly befall a child of God than being cast aside or becoming a castaway. What reason would there be to wake-up in the morning to live a Spiritless day of spiritual uselessness? The mere thought should send shivers up and down the spine of every true saint of God, as well as provide us with more than enough incentive to discipline ourselves to live daily lives under the Spirit’s constant control.
Although we are assured today of never being spiritually orphaned in this world (John 14:18 NIV) or of anything separating us from “the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39), our fellowship with God can be broken and our usefulness to God impaired by repeated and unrepentant sin. Therefore, the Christian must be ever on his guard against sin in his life, in particularly sins that so easily entangle us and estrange us from God (Hebrews 12:1). Otherwise, we may loose all that gives purpose to life; namely, God’s presence in our lives and our potential usefulness to God in the carrying out of His plans and purposes in this world.
“Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.” (John Owen)