Friday, February 19, 2010

Renew a Right Spirit Within Me

From Psalm 51 NLT

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my shameful deeds – they haunt me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight... But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice. Don't keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don't take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you...then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you... The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.

I John 1:9 tells us "If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong"

These days leading up to our celebration of resurrection life are a time to search our hearts and to be fully known by God. Of course, God knows us through and through, yet God longs for us, loves us, and created us to be in intimate fellowship. Psalm 51 is David's song of repentance after lust, adultry, dishonesty, and murder. He is frank, at last, in his honesty with God, hiding nothing. Can we do the same?

There is no darkness too deep for God: his own son suffered death on a cross under the burden of the darkness of the whole world. And he suffered this so that no matter how deep we were buried in it, we would not have to be punished according to our sins. As Corrie ten Boom, who suffered in a Nazi concentration camp, said, "There is no pit so great that God is not greater still."
Forgiving God, so often I find myself feeling buried in darkness, aware of my sin as David was. Sometimes the things I have done, the thoughts I think, make me afraid. Sometimes I don't even want to face them. But Lord, thank you for the promise that because of what Jesus did, I am not to be punished according to my sin. With this promise and the hope of freedom, help me to face my own heart. Lord, shine your holy light inside of me. I want to be known by you. I want to hide nothing, and to let you in. Wash me and I shall be clean. Amen

1 comment:

LoieJ said...

The Create in me a clean heart, etc. part always brings me back to my childhood church because this was sung every Sunday. It is such a pure prayer of what we all need.

[I drove home on Wed.]