Seeing how men and women of faith lived their lives – the good, the bad and the ugly – is part of the wonder and beauty of the Word of God. We get to see their mistakes, their triumphs, their fears, their pains, their dreams, their defeats and their relationship with the Lord – from the benefit of hindsight! In the Old Testament, men and women of God didn’t have Jesus Christ, but clung to the promise of salvation, a Messiah, a Savior, the One who would change everything, even though they didn’t know who He would be. Even so, the awareness of sin in contrast to God’s holiness was ever-present within those who sought the Lord and His relief and the hope of salvation. It’s the same today. We all struggle against sin, but our Hope has come! We are cleansed by “the washing of the water of the Word.” (Eph. 5:26)
After his sordid affair with Bathsheba, David cried out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God! And renew a right spirit within me!” (Psalm 51:10) But, once Jesus did come and He is received at salvation, is this something that the people of God should still cry out, if sin has been covered by His blood, we’re washed clean and made as white as snow?? Yes! Your heart is cleansed, made new and your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ at the moment of your salvation because, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15) BUT…
Salvation and sanctification are two completely different processes of creation- and you need them both- and you must invite the Lord to do them both.
The word “create” that David used was more than a cry for salvation or a cleansing from sin – he wanted to be broken and put back together by the Lord. David wanted the rough edges polished off. David wanted to be smashed to pieces and refashioned to look more like the Lord- no matter how painful it would be. David wanted the Lord to create and birth within him something that was entirely new. David’s cry to “create in me a clean heart” was not a cry to be a “new creation” through salvation, but a “new creation” through sanctification!
Salvation and sanctification are two completely different processes of creation- and you need them both– and you must invite the Lord to do them both. When you come to Christ, you already know that there’s more work to be done! We all make horrible mistakes, bad choices and sinful things- in spite of our best efforts. But that doesn’t mean you need to get saved again and that is not what David was crying out for. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) and yet he recognized that loving God wasn’t enough to get him through life, living for Him was just as important.
Thought for today
“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be upright and innocent from great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)
After salvation, your “cleansing” will be part of your testimony. When you cried out “create in me a clean heart!” the Lord heard you. Don’t fear it. Don’t hide it. Don’t avoid it. YOU are the victory God wants to show someone else who is struggling. YOUR life is the hope they will have when they see what Christ has done in you. YOURS are the shoulders another will stand on. There isn’t more of God to be had– He has given you all of Himself. Now, your assignment is to give Him all of you- and that will be an invitation you extend every day, for the rest of your life to the One who loves you.