Clean Hearts and Good Spirits (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 270)
Psalm 51:10 (NLT)
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
God can create something new and beautiful out of a life and heart that is old and tattered. He’s been bringing things out of nothing and calling light into the dark since the very beginning of time. You’ve been created to live a new and brilliant life. Living such a life begins with allowing God to give you a new and pure heart.
When we sin, even as believers, it is easy to feel as though we are not worthy of being a Christian. No matter what the activity, thought, or word was that is contrary to the grace we’ve been given, we will and should feel corrupt and impure. That is what sin does to us. And it isn’t just the sin that makes us feel this way; it’s the Holy Spirit too.
When King David sinned — committed adultery, had Bathsheba’s husband murdered, and lied about the whole thing for nine months — it was his heart that was corrupted and his conscience coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit that bothered him. When Nathan came to confront him about it, David was already under conviction that pushed him to cease the charade and repent.
As believers, like David, we will and should feel guilty about our sins. Not to the point of giving up and turning away from God, but to the point where we acknowledge our sins, receive God’s grace, and turn away completely and fully. Ask God for a pure heart and a right spirit. David was a man after God’s own heart because he desired a pure heart and a right spirit.
God can create something new from something old. He can take a heart that is impure, full of mistakes, and prone to sin and turn it into a heart that seeks after God, is pure, purposeful, and peaceful. One of the most basic desires of every believer should be to have a pure heart that craves after God and his grace and goodness. We cannot go back and change our past, but we can repent. God can wipe away our regret, remove the burden of sin, and give us clean hands and a pure heart.
God wants to see us live with pure hearts and renewed spirits. Our sin takes us to a low place. But God is there and if we’re willing and surrendered to him he will give us the pure, whole, good heart that we seek. The Christian life isn’t a life of perfection; it’s a life of surrender. Our job is to surrender to God, humble ourselves before him, and ask for his help.
Lord, give us a new, pure heart after yours, one that is not ruled by sin or ruined by chaos. Our hearts are not right and we want you to make it better. We cannot have pure motives, desires, intentions, words, or actions without first having a pure heart. Renew our spirits, our hope, our energy, and our grace. Give us lives that are shaped by you, by your power, and by your Spirit flowing in us and through us.
“Great thoughts and a pure heart, that is what we should ask from God.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe