Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
As humans burdened and suffering from both our sins and the fallen nature of the world around us, we are in desperate need of transformation. We are in desperate need of help from a God who has the power to not just clean us up on the outside but to transform us at the core of who we are. But this God doesn’t force transformation on us. He works when we make space for him to do so. If we’re going to experience the freedom, joy, and purpose that can only come from the inner working of the Holy Spirit, we must be those who seek transformation.
Psalm 51:10-12 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Here in Psalm 51 David exemplifies the heart of one who seeks transformation. He models for us a posture of humility that will lead to powerful encounters with God’s transformative love. He doesn’t sit back and merely live with that which plagues him but goes to God with his problems that he might be changed.
David begins as we all should in asking for God to do a mighty work in his heart. And in this act of asking God to create in him a clean heart, David opens himself up to receive the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. To receive transformation from God we have to come before him humbly and honestly that he might have space to do the impossible in our lives.
Often we spend a majority of our efforts trying to convince others and ourselves that we don’t need help. We work tirelessly to build up a facade that we have it all together. We do everything we can to maintain a sense of control in our lives—even in regard to our spirituality. But in doing so we place appearances above reality. We allow that which is destroying us from the inside to persist simply because we are unwilling to acknowledge that we have need. It’s as if we tried to cover up an external wound with jewelry expecting the surface-level beauty of something to contain the power to heal what’s underneath. We don’t need that which covers up. We need the healing that comes from going with an honest, open heart to the one true Healer.
God’s heart for you and me today is that we would put down our guards, take an honest look at our hearts, and recognize our need for transformation. He longs for us to take a moment and call out that which is robbing us of the abundant life he so willingly died to give us. Your God is willing and able to transform you. That which has plagued you for so long will be healed and broken off your life if you will continually seek transformation from your loving heavenly Father. May you experience powerful transformation today as you enter into a time of guided prayer.
1. Meditate on the importance of seeking transformation. Allow Psalm 51:10-12 to be your model.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12
2. Take an honest look at your heart. Where do you need transformation? What lie, habitual sin, perspective, or fear is robbing you of abundant life? What’s chaining you to the ways, cares, and burdens of the world?
3. Declare your need for transformation in that area to God. Tell him you need his help. Ask him to come and do a mighty work in your heart. Listen to whatever he would speak over you, and trust that he will transform you if you continually seek his help.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9