A CLEAN HEART AND A STEADFAST SPIRIT
January 28, 2012
Today’s reading: Psalm 51:12-17
David prays for a clean heart and a steadfast spirit. “A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.” (Ps 51:12). This recalls the prophetic word of Ezekiel given to Israel: “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you” (Ez 36:26a). This is what God does. God takes our stony hearts and replaces these with natural hearts, and He puts His Spirit within us in order that we might be empowered to obey His laws (Ez 36:26b-27).
God wants us to be holy and righteous. God wants us to be pure and to live pure. He will go to the extent of creating a new and clean heart for us. He will renew the action of the Holy Spirit within us to enable us to be steadfast in observing His laws.
What do we need to do? We must remain in God’s presence, and we must allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. “Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.” (Ps 51:13). We must strive to keep our intimate personal relationship with Jesus, through prayer and a life of virtue. We must live a life of obedience to God, knowing that His grace and the power of His Spirit are there to help us. We must live a lifestyle of worship, which is pleasing to God. “Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Ps 51:17).
We must be mindful that we have already been saved by Jesus, and in that we can truly rejoice. “Restore my joy in your salvation” (Ps 51:14a). We have been brought out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. We have been liberated from slavery to the devil. We are not to act as losers, but are to always rejoice in Christ’s victory. We have been restored as children of God. “No one who is begotten by God commits sin …. Whoever sins belong to the devil” (1 Jn 3:9a,8a). Let us stand fast on these realities.
As we live pure, we do not just withdraw from a sinful world. We do not just dissociate from our friends or relatives who are not living pure. What we should do is to evangelize them. “I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.” (Ps 51:15). Just as we had dirty and stony hearts, we should desire that God also create new and clean hearts for them. Just as we have been saved from death, just as we have been healed, we must desire God’s new life for them. “Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power.” (Ps 51:16).
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