Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Isn't it great to rewear a pair of jeans with mud spattered on the back of the legs? I just love that! I'd pick dirty nasty jeans over clean ones any day, wouldn't YOU?

Hm. I don't think I've ever met a person that liked dirty clothes or felt life was enjoyed more fully with greasy hair. I think we're made to appreciate cleanliness. Or at least I like to think so.

That's why these verse made me think: Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors You was, and sinners will be converted to You. Psalm 51:10-13

It's a prayer of King David, after he'd gotten Bathsheba pregnant and had her husband murdered. Nathan the prophet had come to him and confronted him about it (II Samuel 12). Nathan came to David with a little story about a rich man with many lambs who stole the one lamb of a poor man. The story enraged David until Nathan informed him that it was an allegory and that David was the rich man (that would make Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, the poor man). Nathan then told him that God was going to deal with him for what he had done. David confessed that he had sinned, but God still dealt with David by taking the baby's life shortly after its birth.

David had sinned. He knew it, of course, but had hidden it. After Nathan confronted him, he confessed his sin and wrote the little prayer in Psalm 51. He asked God to change him and restore their relationship. After his confession he was in a right standing before God.

He wanted more than just a right standing with God in that moment though. David asked that God would deliver him from the way he was and use him as an example to teach those that didn't know and lead them to God. In essence, David asked God that what he had done wrong could be used to point people to God.

I think that sometimes we approach God with everything we've ever done wrong and kind of look towards the sky with a sinking, look-what-I-did-now attitude. Too often, we come to Him and ask that He will forgive us and change us but we say it with a whisper. We're afraid of offending a Holy God.

I love that David went to God, having done several pretty bad things, confesses his sins, and then asks God to create a clean heart in him. It was too late for him to tell God he was going to try harder to follow His law, he'd already failed. But he went to Him, asking and expecting to receive a changed heart. Not only that, but he asked God to USE the sin he'd done as a tool to share with others. Wh-at?

David was guilty of adultery and murder. On a regular basis I'm guilty of all sorts of things. When I think of the things I've done wrong I rarely think, "God's going to USE this! God's going to be glorified because I sinned!" I think sadness and "I wish I hadn't done that! I'm such a bad example and blah-blah-blah".

That's what I used to think.

This is the way it really is: I am a sinner. God sent His Son to die in my place since sin = death. Because of this I am free to live a life that is beyond sin. It doesn't end there though. God took my heart, which was probably pretty gross to look at, and made it clean. Therefore I am a testimony to God's work in my heart. So what I've done wrong has been forgiven and washed away but everytime I talk of the sins I've done, I must also mention that God took them. And this gives Him glory. Talking about the fact that I sinned doesn't give Him glory but mentioning that He washed my sins away does. It was all His work.

Just like David demonstrated, once I have cleansed my heart, I am clean. I don't have to stand outside God's presence and fearfully repent for the same thing a million times. Because of God's forgiveness and grace He uses me in spite of what I've done and to testify to His grace because of who I was.

What do you think? When your heart is clean do your actions toward God demonstrate that? Part of repentance is moving on and I realized that too often I hold on instead of moving on and I'm not as usable.

I may as well not repent if I'm not going to stop mulling over my sin and acting like I'm not forgiven. It's kind of like wearing those jeans with the mud on the back. Same idea...

* By the way, I can't STAND it when there's mud caked on my jeans but it happens all the time since I can't find them short enough... it's super annoying!

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