"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
David had fallen into sin. It had been bad. As one thing led to another he found himself mired in a web of adultery, deception, abuse of authority and trust, intrigue and murder. The cover-up continued until he finally couldn’t stand it any more and confessed his sin.
This Psalm was written as he came to repentance. David prays not just for forgiveness but for a clean heart, because he understood all too well that the whole thing had begun in his own heart.
The Apostle James (1:14) wrote “Each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” The devil doesn’t have to put sinful desires in our heart; they are already there. They are just waiting for the opportunity to go to work. We call it the Old Nature or the Old Adam, which the Catechism says “must be drowned daily in sorrow and repentance.”
But God is at work, giving us the power to put the Old Adam to death and creating a New Nature in us, a clean heart, a right spirit. My Old Nature is nailed to the cross with Jesus and His resurrection power is creating the new life in me, day by day.
David’s prayer, as he confronted to sinful desire in his own heart day by day, is the same as ours.
Lord Jesus, create a clean heart in me. Let the power of your cross and resurrection renew that right spirit in me today, so that I can face down those sinful desires and live as You have called me to live, in true righteousness and holiness. Keep me close, Lord. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles