"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." Psalm 51:10-12 (KJV)
As a student at Dallas Christian College, one of the things that brought me the greatest joy was when the students would gather together and sing. Those who could play guitar would bring them and, as the voices joined together, the atmosphere would become one of pure praise. Watching the faces of my fellow students was mesmerizing. As the words flowed from hearts that deeply loved the Lord, I would find myself hoping the time never ended.
Preparing to go out into the world and share the gospel could be challenging, however the professors and staff there truly loved each one of us and were serving the Lord by teaching and exhorting us, not just through the curriculum but also by getting to know us so that their lessons could be as personal as possible. These highly educated and skilled instructors could have made much more money in larger educational institutions, yet they followed God and poured their lives and knowledge into the young men and women seeking to know their Creator in a deeper and more meaningful way.
It was only as I grew older that I began to realize the true gift my college education had been. But then, that is how things generally occur to me. While I am in the midst of certain blessings, I fail to see them as such but time and distance change my perspective and I can see more clearly. It is because of the training I received that I have been able to work with children of all ages and adults up until their time of death. I was taught the importance of loving each person as someone that Christ died for. If they were that important to Him, why would they not be to me?
I chose today's verse for two reasons. The first is that it is one of the songs I learned during the times of praise with other students. The second reason is that it is almost impossible to love and serve others with a heart that is not clean. You can go through the motions and say all the right words, but to truly touch hearts we need to have our own hearts right with our Father.
As spring has now arrived, many families will undertake "spring cleaning" and thoroughly clean their homes. During this time, everything will be scrubbed, dusted and washed. The old and dreary will be replaced with the new and fresh.
This is what needs to be done personally as well. Our minds and hearts need to be searched to see if there is anything that needs to be transformed by the renewal that God's Word can bring. As we read and study, we can ask Him to reveal to us those things that need to be changed within us. A clean heart is one that is open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and willing to make the changes that He might indicate.
I am preaching to myself on this one, I promise you. The lockdowns of the last year and the inability to gather together with those of like faith as well as my friends, have negatively affected my thoughts, emotions and attitudes. I have found it harder to focus during prayer and to reach out to those I know are hurting. I need to spend some time in solitude with the Almighty and sincerely seek the cleansing that only He can provide. The thing that matters most to me in this life is that He is honored and He will not be unless I allow Him to have control of my whole life, all things included.
Create in me a clean heart, dear Father, and renew a right spirit within me. God bless.