Create in Me a Pure Heart

By Pastor Teck Uy

Since we all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, how should we deal with our situation? Should we keep on sinning? By no means! We need to repent and ask God for a change of heart. That was how King David responded when he sinned against the Lord. He said, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12). It was not a refurbished heart that he asked for, but a new one. His heart was so defiled by his terrible sins of adultery and murder that he considered it hopeless unless renewed. Since he himself was incapable of creating one for himself, he asked God, our creator, to create a brand new heart for him. God honoured his prayer and David was known as a man after God’s own heart.

David acknowledged that his sin was brought about by his weak and unsettled spirit. Hence, he asked that God bless him with a steadfast spirit—a strong and unshakable faith that could withstand temptation. David understood that when he sinned, it was not primarily against a person. He confessed, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge” (Ps. 51:4). This truth should make us think twice before we commit sin. We cannot hide anything from God. It is the Holy Spirit that will convict us of sin. He will surely come to know it, for the Bible tells us, “Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? And when faced with temptation, he will strengthen us that we may overcome it” (Prov. 24:12).

The apostle Paul magnified the fact that our sinful nature is always at war with our spirit. Though we want to do good, we do not actually do it. Instead, we do the things that we hate (Rom. 7:14-20). It is a struggle within us and unless we have a steadfast spirit, we can easily be overcome by the sinful nature. Jesus emphasized the need for us to be aware of the weakness of our flesh. He said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matt. 26:41).

After committing such a grievous sin against the Lord, David feared that the Lord would take the Holy Spirit away from him. This fear was not without basis. He knew what it was like to live without the Holy Spirit. David witnessed firsthand what King Saul had to go through after the Holy Spirit departed from him due to his sin of disobedience. In fact, it was David who ministered to King Saul whenever the wicked spirit would come to torment him. David used to play his harp and this drove the wicked spirit away. David was well aware that only sin could cause him to be drawn away from God and earnestly pleaded that God would forgive and sustain him. He knew that being detached from God meant being detached from his blessings. As believers, we should desire to be close to God. The apostle James admonished believers, saying, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).

The purpose of a clean heart and renewed spirit is to be able to enjoy the presence of God again. When sin is present in our lives, there is no joy because even our very salvation is at stake. However, if we are restored to God, even the joy of our salvation is restored. David grieved at the realization that he sinned against God—and that the very act that gave him short enjoyment robbed him of his joy. Friends, let us repent of our sins. Sin is a snare and can rob us not only of our salvation, but our joy. Let us draw near to God so that he will always be near us. When we are close to God, sin is far from us. Let us ask God to create a new heart in us and renew our spirit. A renewed spirit is a renewed faith in God. May we overcome all the challenges and temptations that may come our way. Glory to God!