DISSATISFIED: Psalm 51:10–12


Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:10–12 (nasb)


Did you catch those powerful asking verbs in the text?

Create. Renew. Restore. Sustain.

In this instance we see David, a king, who has everything he could possibly need or even want. At the same time, the prayer reveals a deep dissatisfaction he can no longer satiate by serving his fleshly appetites. His dissatisfaction with himself has led him to a kind of holy desperation which will lead to either despair or divine breakthrough. And yes, often it takes a season of despair and at times even depression to bring one to this kind of desperation before God. This powerful king has come to know his own profound limitations. At the same time, he knows a God beyond them.

Create. Renew. Restore. Sustain.

It is so easy to slowly slip into a distracted life that holds a holy dissatisfaction at bay. Though our dissonance be hidden from our awareness, it remains—quietly waiting, all the while pleading for us to wake up to our desperation for God, who alone can create, renew, restore, and sustain.

A few verses earlier we see a key to awakening:

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,

And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. (Ps. 51:6 nasb)

Holy dissatisfaction means coming to grips with the untruth in our innermost being. The source of our discontent is not external to us. Neither is the solution to our satisfaction. This kind of dissonance is the beautiful sign that God is working within us to touch and transform our innermost being with grace and truth.

This is where the new day begins—in the darkness of dissonance, when our holy dissatisfaction awakens the dawn.


Heavenly Father, thank you for desiring truth in my innermost being. Thank you for your patience with me. And thank you for sowing deep within me this holy dissatisfaction at the gap between your desire for me and my desire for you. Yes, Lord, I am awakening to my desire for truth in my innermost being, which is leading me to an even deeper desire for you. Come, Holy Spirit! Create, renew, restore, and sustain us: (name the members of your band). In Jesus’ name, amen.


How do you relate to this notion of distraction covering over our dissatisfaction and causing us to feed our deepest desires with the things that can never satisfy? Can you see that in your own life? Will you name it? Share this with your band.

Now ask the Holy Spirit to give you a particular word of encouragement for one of the members of your band. Be bold and share that word with the group.