Psalm 51:10-11 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” NKJV
I have had people challenge me when I say that David was a man after God’s own heart citing the kinks in his armor, flaws in his character, and some of the incredibly wrong courses he took in life. I always remind them that God did not say David was perfect but focused on David’s heart and this prayer is a window into the soul of David and his prayer is one that each of us should make our own daily.
David committed wrong and often paid for it dearly. I have often told congregations that considering the lives of some of the notable biblical characters we should take heart that if God could and would accept them when they came in repentance we have hope. I always hesitate in making that statement fearing some will begin to ‘compare’ themselves to others and come to a ‘false justification’ for their lives, actions, and attitudes. That is not what I’m saying only that God is incredibly merciful while at the same time incredibly holy and just.
But back to the prayer here and the incredible depth and importance it holds for our lives. Consider it in a multi-step process with me if you will:
- The Foundation.
Create in me a CLEAN HEART. If the heart is not cleansed by the Blood of Jesus and our spiritual transformation does not take place where we are transferred from darkness into God’s marvelous light we have nothing to build on. The first place to begin our spiritual journey is THE HEART. He cries to God for the transformation of the heart to become a heart acceptable to God that would allow interaction and communion with the divine.
- The Process.
RENEW in me a steadfast (right) spirit. If my heart is right then my mind, attitude, and spirit can be conducive to fellowship with God. I will find that conditions and circumstances do not dictate my standing for I am STEADFAST. I am not ‘double-minded’ and driven by changing circumstances, attitudes, opinions, or events for my HEART is rooted in the foundation of truth and my spirit is STEADFAST anchored in that truth.
- The Recognition.
Do not cast me away from YOUR PRESENCE and do not take your HOLY SPIRIT from me. He recognized that only with a clean heart and a steadfast spirit could he be in a place where the presence of the Holy One would dwell and the Holy Spirit would come alongside teach and guide. This is recognition not only of the need for grace and the power of perseverance but the importance of God’s personal presence and the invaluable ministry of the Holy Spirit in our spiritual walk.
How we need to guard our hearts in our troubled world. The Bible says that ‘if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart.’ But if He creates in us CLEAN HEARTS and renews in us RIGHT and STEADFAST SPIRITS while communing with us personally and extending to us the ministry and person of the Holy Spirit we will stand and having done all to stand we will stand!
May God be with you as you go through your day!