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Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Can you hear the emotion in King David’s ‘voice’ as he pens these words? I see him hunched over a table in the far reaches of the palace, away from everyone. Surrounded by wealth, holding the power of the kingdom in his hands, considered mighty, powerful, invincible. Yet there he sits. His hands covering his face as he ponders the situation.

“How did I let it go this far? How did I let this happen? What will the people say? What’s next for me in God’s eyes? How can I fight off a bear, a lion, a giant and countless enemies and let this happen to me?”

The list goes on as David recounts the things in life that led him to this point. At that time it was perhaps the lowest point in his life, the time when his affair with Bathsheba was exposed. This well-known verse is or has been the cry of each of us as we’ve traveled this journey of life.

Our spirit is right. We know what we want to do. We charge straight ahead into battle with the intent of living for Jesus. We determine that nothing will keep us from the goal of living what we believe.

Then life happens. It’s not the big things that pull us down right away. It starts with the little things, tiny lapses that seem insignificant. But like a tumor they grow unseen until we realize we’ve strayed far from the path. The goal is no longer even in sight for us.

That’s when grace steps in. Grace says that no matter how far we stray from the path we intent to travel we can be forgiven.

Notice the words again. David asks his Father to ‘create a pure heart’. Only God can create something. To create means to make something completely new. The heart was considered the seat of emotion and the source of our thoughts and desires. David isn’t asking God to fix his heart, he’s asking for a new one. That’s the key to making meaningful and effective change in your life; coming to a point when you reach out to God and say “I can’t do this anymore. My DNA won’t allow me to make the changes I need to make. Make my heart (my emotions, my desires, and my passions) new. The old ones aren’t working

Only after our passions are made new can we hope to have the strength to change. Our determination to follow Christ unwaveringly can only happen after we have confessed our sin and by grace received forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Our spirit (the source of our actions) will only be pure when our heart is made new.

PRAYER: Father God. I’m so tired of trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and failing again. I try to hard to live for you without much success. Like David, I ask that you would create a new heart within me. I confess my sin and weakness. I acknowledge my need for you. I accept your forgiveness and grace through Jesus Christ. Help me go in your strength to tackle the issues I face today. In your name I pray, Amen.

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September 2011
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