I'm somewhat familiar with Psalm 51. It has been adapted and used as lyrics in the song "Create In Me A Clean Heart". Since I've lead worship corporately for almost a decade (scary to think!) I know the song well and have led it many times. I recently encountered a place of great discouragement that left me questioning what am I to do and what will it take to get over this. Psalm 51:12 says: "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." I read that verse and it stopped me in my tracks. I immediately went to the footnotes thinking, "What is this grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."? Footnotes don't address it. I pull up my Bible software that also doesn't have any notes on it...so I'm left...to...reflect and ask God for wisdom. Psalm 51 is no doubt a plea for help, asking not to be cast from the presence of God, asking God for a pure heart; but how does a willing spirit sustain me? Later in the text it mentions that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart. So, I must assume that a willing spirit might be one that is in fact broken. It is one that flexes and bends to the will of God and His plans for each of us. Could it be that when we are inflexible to what God's doing in our lives that we are not sustained? Could it be that in those times we are in fact taking things into our own hands and exhausting ourselves and are left empty and defeated? Bitter and confused? Lost and abandoned?
I'm a pretty motivated person which my wife might say is an understatement at times. She notices I get in these moods where I won't shut down or stop working and she will say "Oh, I think I've lost you for the night." "You're not going to stop are you?" What she means is I'm overworking (did I mention I can be unbalanced?). Sometimes I'm unwilling to sit down and relax. And sometimes I get ahead of what God's doing. Or maybe I lose the joy of His salvation because my Spirit is not willing to hear what He's saying to me, or do what He's called me to do, or let go when I need to let go. Some of us need God to "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." If you are feeling "unsustained", perhaps it's time to stop, submit, and present God a sacrifice of a broken spirit and a contrite heart to whatever His will is so You may be sustained and joy may be restored.