Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
What's our real problem? Published week of october 18, 2020
When we ask God to, “create in us a new heart and renew a right (steadfast) spirit,” what we are really asking for is, “I want to be changed from the inside out, not just on the outside.” It is really hard for people (even Christians) to let go of sin. We often develop a place in our lives where sin can incubate. Sometimes, these sins become commonplace in our lives as we give way to what we might call “pet sins.” Though we may have difficulty asking God to forgive our sins, we will find that when it comes to certain sins we have no issue at all forgiving ourselves.
Here is what we say to ourself, “Maybe that pet sin really isn’t so bad.” We mistakenly often put our sins on the scale of wrongdoing using a ranking system of 1 (not so bad) to 10 (really bad). Sins like taking a piece of candy may be a “1” while committing murder may rank as a “10”. We rationalize by thinking that a number “1” sin doesn't really hurt anybody. By a degree we render for our own mind, or by the fact we can keep it a secret, each of us gather and hold on to “pet sins” that we continue to commit. Perhaps this is because we don't want to let it go or we may even feel trapped in that sin. Even though we may trust God with many areas of life, we just don’t think God is going to be strong enough to break that particular sin’s hold.
If you are addicted to pornography, drugs, alcohol, a bad temper, or filthy language, I can tell you right now that all of your human attempts are totally worthless and powerless. What do we need? We need for God to renew us by His grace. Why do we sin? It is because we are all sinners. We do what we do, because we are what we are.
In Psalm 51, David doesn’t want to deal with the symptoms of his problems, rather he rightly wants to deal with the cause of it. David realizes, “I don’t just need pardon; I need purity.” Here is what I am saying, we don’t just need to be cleared of our sin; we need to be cleansed from our sin. We need a new heart. You can’t buy those at the store. They don’t stock them at the hospital. It is not a prescription that your pharmacist can fill.
We don’t need a minor repair job; we need a complete spiritual overhaul. Our problem is much greater than just individual sins. Simply put, our problem is sin. You can’t just deal with what you do, but you have to deal with what you are.
Heavenly Father, there is a sin nature in me that I don’t want but I am powerless to remove it. Thank You Jesus for paying the penalty for my sin. Please create in me a new heart . . . one that seeks You fully and despises sin completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.