“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” -- Psalm 51:10
We live in a confused world. With all of our technological advancement and access to information, our contemporary American culture remains self-diluted and overly-confident about the nature of humanity. If you were to ask the average person on the street whether he or she was a good person, statistics show that the vast majority of people would say they are good. Many think to themselves, “Unless I do the really bad things, I can’t be that bad. It’s not like I’m Hitler. I mean, I pay my taxes, I don’t murder people, so I must be doing pretty good.” Unfortunately, many of us live a very self-deluded life, not realizing our penchant for wickedness, daily acts of pride, greed, and selfishness. These reveal our true nature. What is even more staggering is the realization that many of the great atrocities that have happened with in the last hundred years were perpetuated or carried out by “average people.”
The prophet Jeremiah tells us that the heart of man is “deceitful, wicked above all things” (Jer. 17:9). Every single person who has consciousness usually fails to reflect upon our broken, fallen state. When we look to Psalm 51:10, we see David crying out to God to do in David the very thing which David could not bring about in his own power; namely, the creation of a new heart and the renewing of his own spirit.
If you go to any bookstore today you’ll find plenty of books aimed at self-help, self-rehabilitation, self-perfectionism and self-actualization. No matter how hard we try, however, and no matter how much energy and effort we put into our own “behavioral modification,” we can never do the one thing which is really needed — transformation from the inside out. This requires that we do two things: (1) Acknowledge we cannot heal and transform our own lives, and (2) Beseech the One — the only One — who can transform us and give us what we lack. It only makes sense, my friend, that the One who created us for Himself is the only One who can truly meet our needs and make us right again.
In the past, especially in my younger years, I would find myself praying this prayer, but only occasionally (usually in a bind and desperate for God’s help). But now I find myself praying this prayer with great frequency. I’m no less in need of God’s transforming work in my life today and I yearn more for God’s move to be realized in me. I think what happened is that the deeper I’ve grown in relationship with my Maker, the deeper I’ve seen His grace for my life and my ultimate need for His constant and continual transformation of my heart. May we be people who constantly invite God to move in our hearts, lives, and loved ones.
Word for the Way:
God longs to create a new heart within me today.