”Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Ps. 51:11)
In Psalms 51, we find King David’s prayer of repentance after the sin with Bat-Sheba. What we, who now live in the New Covenant, mainly can learn from this prayer today, is that if we act wrongly, or sin, we should repent from the depth of our hearts. Sin is always wrong and always serious.
However, there are several things in David’s prayer that are no longer applicable to us as believers in the New Covenant. One of these things is found in verse 11, where David asks God not to take His Spirit away from him.
David was completely wright to pray like that. Under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit was not poured out on earth as today – i.e. after the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago. We see in the Old Testament how the Holy Spirit on many occasions ”fell upon” or ”came upon” the Prophets and holy men and women of that time. However, we who are born-again believers under the New Covenant enjoy privileges that go far beyond those of the Old Covenant.
The one who believes in Jesus and confesses Him as Lord becomes born again, by the Holy Spirit, after which the Spirit resides in that person permanently. Those who are born again have been “sealed by the Spirit” (Eph. 1:13), which means that the Holy Spirit does not come and go. He permanently lives in the believer – who is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Kor. 6:19).
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:13-14)
”Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19)
Still today, it is not uncommon to hear certain preachers pray, “Dear God, do not take your Holy Spirit from me…”, just like David in the Old Covenant. The intentions may be good, and these preachers may have committed serious sins that they should repent from under tears, but the fact is that this is an “anti-Christ prayer” – i.e. a prayer that goes against Jesus and His finished work.
Jesus, before His death on the cross, promised His disciples that He would ask the Father to send them a Helper – the Holy Spirit, who would live in them and be with them forever:
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (Jn. 14:16-17)
This promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago. Since then, the Holy Spirit permanently resides in all born-again believers.
Hebrews 13:5 says: ”For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you’.”
Knowing that the Holy Spirit lives in us, and has come to be with us forever, and that God has promised never to leave nor forsake us – how then can we at the same time pray to God that He will not take His Holy Spirit from us? It is nothing but disbelief. When leaders pray such prayers today, this might lead to that ordinary believers start doubting whether they truly have the Holy Spirit in them, or not, which is a very serious thing!
The good news of the Gospel is: Receive Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will enter your heart. From that moment the Spirit neither comes nor goes. He is always with you!