Psalm 51:10 says, “God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
My last blog was on the first part of Psalm 51:10. We looked at the word “create.” God is in the business of cutting out or pruning those things in our life that keep us from becoming who He wants us to be.
Today we will look at the second part of verse 10. David is asking the Lord to “renew” within him. To renew something means to make it new again. David knew that he had sinned against God, and he knew that it was the inner person that was the problem. He wanted his entire body to be restored to the Lord. God is the only one that can renew our souls. He will create a “steadfast” (loyal, faithful, unwavering) spirit in us if we are willing to confess our sin, repent to the Lord and ask Him to change and renew our spirits. We need a steadfast spirit so that we will not be sucked in to all of the distractions around us. Sin is a “spiritual cancer.” In order for us to have a renewed spirit, we must allow God to cut out the infected parts of our soul.
In verse 12 of Psalm 51 we read, “Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.” Sin affects our entire being. When we have sinned, it is impossible to have a joyful heart. No matter how hard we may try, there is always that nagging voice inside of us. We cannot have true joy when our hearts are not right before God. The phrase “willing spirit” refers to David’s own spirit, as in verse 10. A “willing spirit” is one that is not in bondage but is free and yielded to the Spirit of God, who ministers to and through our own spirit (Romans 8:14-17). It isn’t enough simply to confess sin and experience God’s cleansing; we must also let Him renew us within so that we will conquer sin and not succumb to temptation. (The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren W. Wiersbe)
God wants nothing more than to forgive us, cleanse us and renew us. Do those things that grieve the Lord also grieve me? Have I become lazy in seeing my sin and asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness? Have I become calloused and acceptable of sin because of society? Father, help me to see my sin as you see it…a complete offense and abhorrence against You. Keep my soul and heart open and tender to those things that break Your heart, and help me to be steadfast in You when I am tempted to do wrong. Lord, I want a spirit that is free in You and not locked up in bondage. Create in me a clean heart and renew in me a steadfast spirit.