Earlier this week I shared how much I love the word "create." So when I read Psalms 51:10, "Create in me a clean (pure) heart, O God," the word "create" naturally leaps out at me.
Why does God have to CREATE a clean heart in me? Because it doesn't come naturally! I was not born with a clean heart. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary's primary definition of the word "create" reads, "to bring into existence."
This pure heart was something that did not exist! God must create it, and what's more, He must continually re-create it because I can do nothing to either create it or maintain it in my own power. All I can do is ask Him for that clean heart.
Our need for a clean heart is so undervalued by today's lukewarm Christians. When your heart is pure and known sins are confessed, there are no roadblocks to fellowship with God through His Holy Spirit. You'll be open to His leading and blessing, as well as His hand on your shoulder, stopping you from misplacing your priorities and being deceived by your own heart.
If you read the rest of the Psalm 51, David speaks of what he will be able to do when his heart is pure before the Lord. He'll be able to be an example and testimony to unbelievers (vs 13). His heart will be free to rejoice and sing before the Lord (vs 14). He will be able to enjoy renewed closeness with God from the place of repentance and redemption (vs 15-17). It stands to reason that the flipside is also true. We are not able to do those things when our hearts are not clean.
I have been in that place, where I could not sing in front of my Savior because I harbored sin in my heart.
The soloist fell silent.
The impure heart had to be dealt with before my body, created in God's image, was free to sing His praise.
I needed that clean heart re-created again in me. And it took me a long, long time to admit it.
A long period of apparent, outward blessing but hidden, inward barreness.
My prayer for you today, as a fellow believer desiring to serve the Lord, is that you will come to the realization that David did. A clean heart must brought about from scratch by God, and all we can do is desire it and ask for it. Do you desire it? Have you asked for it?
Let me caution you that the process won't be pretty. Sins may come to light under the illuminating torch of the Holy Spirit you invited in, sins that you might very well rather have never had seen the light of day. It won't be pretty or pleasant to experience, because all sin is ultimately ugly and unpleasant in the end.
I'm so thankful we can cling to the final phrase of verse 17: "A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." The unclean, impure heart invites judgement. But the repentant heart is always--ALWAYS-- received with compassion and mercy, and replaced with a clean one (I John 1:9).
Father, help me be quick to realize when my heart isn't clean. Help me be even quicker to admit I cannot cleanse it on my own and to ask You to re-create it. Renew a right spirit within me so that I may be a testimony of Your grace, sing without being strangled by my sin, and live the abundant life for which You have called and redeemed me. I ask this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.