As I was reading my daily devotions the other morning, I realized something. I’m reading too quickly, and not taking enough time for the words to soak in. Let me explain. Right now I am in the book of Psalms. Now don’t get me wrong, Psalms is beautiful, and I really do love it, it’s just after awhile the words kind of start to run together. Especially when you read a few similar Psalms back to back. Plus, a lot of them I have already read…which leads to extreme skimming on my part.
Anyways, I decided to slow down and I took a closer look at this all too familiar verse…
“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 away from me.”
Read it a bunch of times. Probably even memorized it in my middle school/ AWANA days. Never took the time to actually meditate on it…until now. The footnotes for this particular verse were what really got me…
“Because we were born sinners, our natural inclination is to please ourselves rather than God.”
I guess I always read this verse and didn’t really think about the actual meaning. I mean, having a pure heart and steadfast spirit sounds great…I probably prayed about it, didn’t think anything else of it, and moved on. But this footnote really got me thinking. It’s not just as simple as asking God to give us pure hearts and spirits. Since we are born sinners, and our natural inclination is to please ourselves (impure heart) rather than God (pure heart), we have to work at shifting our mindset by actively asking God to create a pure hear and spirit within us. And actually mean it.
Does that make sense? It’s not enough just to say the words “create in me a pure heart O God”. Even though those words sound nice, they are meaningless without the actions and lifestyle changes to back them up. As sinners in a fallen world, we are going to make mistakes. And mess up. It’s ok. The important piece is being able to take the necessary actions to get ourselves back on track, and in a right relationship with God—living with a pure heart and steadfast spirit.
Personally, I need to work on this. I know I’m not perfect. I don’t try to be. But I could do a better job in actively seeking God, and asking Him to create a pure heart within me. Not only through my words, but also through my actions. I want my actions to back up what I say. And I want to focus more on pleasing God rather than always looking to please myself.
Lord, create a pure heart and spirit within me. Shift my mindset to think of you before myself, and to please you first. I’m sorry for being selfish and for putting myself first more often than not. Forgive me, and continue to purify my heart and spirit everyday. Amen.