Create In Me

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“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:1


When David wrote this psalm, he was walking through one of the darkest moments of his life. David had just betrayed his friend, Uriah, by sleeping with his wife, Bathsheba. Bathsheba became pregnant, so to cover up his sin, David had Uriah murdered. After this, Bethsheba gave birth to a son. However, because of David’s sin, the boy was born with an illness and died seven days after his birth. (2 Samuel 11-12)


After all this, David wrote Psalm 51, pleading, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” How could David be so bold? After everything he had done, how could David dare to approach the holy God of Israel and ask to be made pure? David repented because he knew God’s character. Despite everything David had done, he knew God would be merciful to him (Lamentations 3:22-23).


It’s easy to look at David and think, “Wow, he committed some truly awful sins. I’m surely not as bad as he is,” but the truth is we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As much as we might wish otherwise, we’re no better than David was. Thankfully, as God was merciful then, He is merciful now.


Colossians 1:22 says, “Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, He has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.” Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we stand blameless before God. God did not set us free so we could return to sin, for that would be a fragile freedom. Instead, He set us free so we could live in freedom (Galatians 5:1).


In Romans 7:21-24, Paul talks about the difficulty of living a consistently free, pure, and honoring life for the Lord. Paul writes, “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” Thankfully, in the next verse, Paul answers: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Romans 7:25).


When we face temptation, we can cry out to God, who will help us. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Scripture tells us that God can purify our hearts from past sins and guard our hearts against future temptation. We simply have to ask for His help.


One final thought is this: If we love God, we will keep His commands. And if we keep His commands, we will grow to love Him more. “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them” (John 14:21). This is terrific news! While initially living a life of purity may be difficult, in time, God will change our desires so that we want what He wants! “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37:4)


God wants to give us pure hearts and clean hands. He wants to see us walk in freedom. Though we may fall, God will help the righteous to get up again. (Proverbs 24:16)


As you listen to “Create in Me (Psalm 51),” we pray it will serve as a reminder that, like David, we can come repentantly before God, trusting Him to purify and guide us.