Cleaning Outside and In
At the time I’m writing this, I’m doing a home cleaning challenge with a group of ladies and it got me thinking. Sometimes we pay so much attention to cleaning the physical home and forget to clean our spiritual home. Out of that I developed a “Sunday Soul Cleaning” challenge. It was just a short focus on a verse from the Bible and I expanded it for a devotion.
So, let’s do a little “Sunday Soul Cleaning” no matter the day of the week.
Create a Clean Heart
Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.” (HCSB)
David was made aware of his sin and was crying out to God in repentance. He didn’t just whine about what he’d done. He essentially commanded God to take action. I know it sounds odd to say, ‘he commanded God,’ but that’s the tense of the verb, ‘create.’ It’s like telling my child to “Go take a bath.” I really want him to go get clean. David felt that way too. He really wanted God to clean him.
To me, the most interesting part of the word, create, is that the Hebrew word is only used in connection with God. It’s first used in Genesis and means “to make out of nothing.” Like David, I don’t want God just to clean up my old dirty heart. I want a whole new one. No surface cleaning will ever do.
One time, I illustrated this verse for a group of children using a tarnished teapot and polish. I began cleaning it and telling them when I got done cleaning the pot, it would be brand new. Of course, they knew that I couldn’t make it brand new, but God can. He doesn’t just shine us up on the outside. He shines us from the inside out and our true self in Christ can be seen by all.
Renew a Steadfast Spirit
David then asked God to ‘renew a steadfast spirit in me.’ He had had it before and he wanted it again. Simply put, renew means to make new, repair and rebuild. Like David, we fall, sometimes really hard. It hurts. That’s when we ask God to ‘renew’ us. The precious thing, yet hard to take sometimes, is that God doesn’t just ‘fix’ us. He uses those times to grow us into a closer relationship with Him. To be renewed, is intentional, repetitive. Every time we fall, we ask God to pick us back up.
At first glance, steadfast appears to be an adjective. In English, it is describing what kind of spirit. The King James Version uses the word, ‘right.’ In Hebrew, it’s a verb. A passive one at that. So, what does all that mean? To be steadfast is to be firm, established, and securely determined. To be passive means it’s done for you. In reality, we can’t be steadfast in our human nature. It is only through Christ that we can remain steadfast, securely determined in our focus on God’s call.
Let’s go back to that not so shiny pot. When we ask God to ‘create a clean heart’ and ‘renew a steadfast spirit,’ He is faithful to do so. He rubs all that tarnish away and reveals the beauty that is already there, the beauty as He created it to be. It’s time to let God’s glory shine through you.