Posture is important in life.
If I slouched as a teenager, Mom poked me between my shoulder blades, as if her words weren’t enough of a reminder.
Musicians know that good posture improves singing and playing instruments. When I taught piano, I emphasized the importance of posture in the early lessons, hoping to create a good habit in my students.
We breathe better with good physical posture. We walk with greater confidence.
Have you considered your heart posture in approaching God?
Psalm 51 shows five essentials for heart posture that draw us closer to God to receiving His forgiveness.
- Essential Heart Posture: A Needy Heart.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. vs. 1-2.
David, the author of these words, recalls God’s unfailing love and compassion. He realized the weight of his sin and his need for forgiveness. “Sin” means “to miss the mark.” He knew he missed the mark to please God, needing to get back in right relationship with God. He went to God as a filthy beggar asking for cleansing.
- Essential Heart Posture: A Submissive Heart.
For I know my transgression, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. vs.3-4.
David sought restoration with God, knowing his sin was a barrier in his heart.
Pride didn’t justify the sin. Sin is not just against others, but against God. David justified God, not himself. The posture of his heart became humble and submissive to the Lord so that the barrier of sin could be removed.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. vs. 7.
Through confessing the sin, he put himself in the position for the internal heart cleansing.
- Essential Heart Posture: An Obedient Heart.
Do not cast me from your presence or take you Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. vs. 11-12.
David desired restoration of his relationship with God. He knew what he needed to confess to God, and he did it. He longed for the previous joy.
- Essential Heart Posture: An Expectant Heart.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. vs. 13.
Once David’s relationship with God was restored, he became expectant that God would use him again, in spite of the past sin. He received forgiveness and moved forward. The sin didn’t define him. God continued to use the forgiven king.
- Essential Heart Posture: Evidence of a Restored Heart.
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you do not despise. vs. 15 -17.
No longer restless from the burden of unconfessed sin, David praised God for the restoration of relationship. Psalm 51 is the evidence that he resumed writing.
God extends the grace of forgiveness to all of us. It begins with the recognition of our sin and a needy heart.
Sometimes we need the reminder from God to “straighten up” with better heart posture.
Do you feel distant from God because of sin? Ask yourself these questions:
Do I have an unforgiving spirit?
Am I holding on to bitterness or hurt feelings?
Have I taken in more of the world and less of the Word of God?
Pray, releasing the sin through confession.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise. v.17
Only God can create a clean heart from the brokenness of sin.
Draw near to God and receive extravagant forgiveness from our loving Creator.
When we take care of our heart posture, his grace “straightens” our relationship with God.