Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
When I was a youth student, this was one of my favorite passages without even knowing it was in the Bible. Our youth group sang a song with these lyrics. I can still remember singing out the chorus in earnest “…Cast me not away from your presence, O Lord…”. These words seemed so relevant to us as young teenagers. I didn’t realize it was penned by King David thousands of years ago. This song of repentance was relevant to him then. It was relevant to me decades ago. And it’s still relevant to me now, and I’m sure is relevant to you as well, no matter your age.
It’s because we still get our hearts dirty, and our spirit is often at odds with the Holy Spirit, and is not right with Him. We still experience the pain of sinning. Pain to God, who though He died to take away our sins, still grieves over our sins (Eph. 4:30). Pain to ourselves, as we separate ourselves from the source of Life. And pain to others, as sin is never private. It leaks out to others.
The way to getting our hearts clean again, to renewing our spirits, so we are right with His Spirit, and to experiencing the joy of our salvation, is through the gift of repentance. Today, I encourage you to take some time to repent. To come clean before God, with your sins, so you can leave clean by His grace. To come with “a broken and contrite heart,” which are pleasing sacrifices to God, which He gladly welcomes and does not despise (v. 17).
David did just that, and as he writes in another Psalm, he experiences the joy of forgiveness, that I pray will be yours in Christ too.
“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered… I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32:1, 5).