This verse in Psalm 51 is one of the most popular verses in the Psalms and it expresses David’s prayer to God for a clean heart and a right spirit… Sin does not just affect the ones around us or something outwardly in us, but it affects and damages our whole being. Sin corrupts and damages our heart, and puts a stain on the pure heart. When our sin is exposed by the Lord’s shining, we need to face it through repentance and confession. When we turn in such a way, we see ourselves, we see sin as God sees it, and we turn to God!
create in me a clean heart, O God!
A clean heart is also a pure heart – our heart which was stained and defiled by sin needs to be cleansed and purified by God. We cannot purify our heart, but we can ask God to renew us. By sinning, we become old – but after we repent and confess, we are being renewed! We have no trust in ourselves – it is in sin that we were born (Psa. 51:3-5; Rom. 7:18; Phil. 3:3). The first step towards recovery is to turn to God – turn back to the Lord! When we turn, we deal with the root of the sin – independence from God. As we confess our sins, we are healed and purged, purified!
God forgives our sins and He also forgets!
Once we confess our sins, God forgives us of our sins and He also forgets them! To forgive literally means “causing it to leave” / “sending away” (Matt. 12:31; Rom. 4:7). When God forgives us of our sins, He forgives us of our sins because of the Lord’s blood which covers us and He also causes them to depart from us! On the one hand, God cancels the charges of sin against us (which are before Him) and delivers us from the penalty of His righteousness. On the other hand, God causes our sins to depart from us forever – He forgives us and He forgets our sins! Praise the Lord, God both forgives us from our sins and He erases our sins from His memory and remembers them no more!
Sin came in through Satan – this one, God’s enemy, deceived man to sin, and he is the real cause of sin. Of course, there’s something in us – the sinful nature – which corresponds to Satan and does his will, but the real cause and origin of sin is Satan. When we sin, we do things in independence from God; but when we turn to Him in repentance, we depend on God and He forgives our sins since Christ bore them on the cross in our place. Then, God gives all our sins back to Satan that he might carry them himself!
Renew a right steadfast / spirit within me
David also prayed for a right spirit to be renewed in him – this is an upright spirit, a steadfast, constant, or firm spirit. Even our spirit is affected by our sin, and it is caused not to be firm or upright. We need the Lord to strengthen us into our inner man so that our spirit may be immovable, unshakable, standing constantly as something firm and steady. We even need to repent for having a spirit that is not so firm, not so steady, and that’s the reason we are able to be tempted and fail. May the Lord renew such a spirit within us, one that is steadfast, firm, immovable, unshakable, and upright!
[sharing inspired from the Truth Lessons, and, Basic Lessons on Life, as quoted in the Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms (1); you can get the morning revival book online or become a fan on Facebook for more updates. Image source: Create in me a clean heart. ]
Lord, create in us a clean heart! Purify and cleanse our heart. We just open to You, Lord, for Your cleansing and purifying. We turn to You and we depend on You. We do not trust in ourselves, and we don’t trust even our heart. Come in, Lord, and create in us a pure heart. Strengthen our spirit to be strong and immovable! Make our spirit unshakable and steadfast. Lord, how much we need You…
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