Create in me a clean heart

In Psalm 51:10 David prayed: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

As outlined a few days ago, David had committed multiple sins. Big sins. Snowballing sins. Then he was confronted by the prophet Nathan.

Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance. He asked God for mercy and for God to make his heart clean. It was something which needed to occur from the inside out—by God himself.

Tim Day described something that happened at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The leader got everyone to write down things they had tried to do to quit drinking. Then he said, “Can we all agree that none of this works?”* He did it to highlight the fact that they couldn’t change on their own. They needed a “higher power.”

When it comes to our own sin and brokenness (whatever that happens to be), and when we think about the things we do by ourselves to stop, can we all agree that none of this works if we are trying to do it apart from God?

Actual transformation always begins with God.

Notice what David said: “Create in me…” He asked God to do what he could not do for himself.

Godly transformation is good. Holiness is good. Love is good. Truthfulness is good. Christlikeness is good. What is a barrier to those things in your life? Speak to God honestly about it. Ask him to change you from the inside out.

Can we all agree that self-help is not as good as God-help?

“Create in me a clean heart…”


–“True repentance: Create in me a clean heart.” Sermon on Psalm 51. May 21, 2023. Click here to watch or listen.

–*Tim Day, God Enters Stage Left (Oakville: The Meeting House, 2013), 67.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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