“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?”
David knows only too well how easy it is to follow ‘the devices and desires of our own hearts.’ So he asks the Lord not only for forgiveness but for a new understanding, commitment and strength. In doing so he is praying in line with the Lord’s own wisdom and promise:
• “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
• “He purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9)
• “For God is greater than our hearts.” (1 John 3:20)
We cannot love the Lord with all our heart in our own strength. We cannot love our neighbours as ourselves in our own strength. We cannot love one another as Jesus has loved us in our own strength. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. We cannot obey the Lord’s commands in our own strength. We cannot be holy in our own strength. We are a fallen people – fallen in body, mind and spirit and with hearts focussed on ourselves and the things of this world.
David had it right. Forgiveness by itself is not enough. We need help and we need it in the central depths of our lives. We need God to give us a new heart and a new spirit. A heart filled with His love and a spirit more holy and powerful than the spirit of the fallen world and fallen nature within us. We need to be saved even from ourselves.
And so God has acted. He has given us His heart in Jesus and His Life in His Spirit. They are here for the asking and acceptance.
Don’t fight sin in your own strength. Turn to God and involve Him – as often and as much as it takes.
Prayer every day:
Father please give me Your Heart and Your Spirit. May they fill my life and set me free to love and live You with joy. Amen.