A Right Spirit
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Very often in counseling, we see people who have recently turned away from a life-dominating pattern of sin.  They are seeking to be restored by God.  Like David in his repentance from adultery with Bathsheba, they are asking God not only for a clean heart but also for a "right" spirit:

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10 italics added).

By "spirit" David means that inner person from which flow attitude, emotion, and action.  The Hebrew word "right" means to be erect (stand perpendicular), thus to set up.  It is used in a wide variety of ways meaning to establish, fix, prepare, apply, appoint, or render sure.

For example, the priests who carried the ark of the covenant "stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan as the Israelites passed over on dry ground" (Joshua 3:17).  And the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23).

Again, Samuel instructed Israel to return to the Lord and put away the strange gods from among them and "prepare your hearts unto the Lord and serve him only; and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines" (I Samuel 7:3).  And David had prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent (I Chronicles 15:1).

On the other hand, the generation that perished in the wilderness were "stubborn and rebellious."  They "set not their heart aright," and "their spirit was not stedfast with God" (Psalm 78:8).  Thus the Proverbs say, "A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved" (12:3).

Thus a right spirit is one that is constant, steadfast, and unmovable, because it is rightly directed toward God and open to His presence. It stands firm in obedience and faith. And it worships God, for "my heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise" (Psalm 57:7).

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