Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Clean. It calls to mind something that once was dirty that is not any longer. Cleanliness most often refers to our bodies, our clothes, our homes, our cars. But what about our minds or our hearts? This has been a particularly difficult post to write. Maybe because I don’t always feel that my thoughts or my heart are clean. Not every day, but enough.
The problem is that I see my unclean-ness as failure. And not just a failure to wash my car or clean the kitchen every night. But as a total fail in every aspect of my life. If my car stays cluttered and dirty for too long, it’s a sure sign that I am not a good steward of anything that God has blessed me with. If my young adult children are making poor choices, it must be because I’m such a horrible parent.
As I’ve worked through the struggle with my thought life and my heart, I’m beginning to realize something. What I thought was persistent dirtiness in my spirit is really the residue of forgiven sin. The phrase “poverty mindset” came to my mind a few days ago. And that’s really what it is. Behaving as though I am still deep in sin when the God of the Universe redeemed my life when I surrendered to Him. Like the Israelites after leaving Egypt. They were free, but continued to behave as slaves.
God has given me the forgiveness I prayed for. And I really have turned from the bad behavior and poor choices. But there are times when I slip back into old habits and ways of thinking. I get stuck in the pit and forget that God has redeemed me by His death on the cross. I know I am no longer a slave, but my thoughts and my actions tell a different story.
In times like these, I fall into God’s word to see how to climb out of my hole of self-pity.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
When our minds and our hearts are clean, we see what is right in front of us much more clearly. We are able to appreciate simple beauty. We don’t miss moments of pure joy with a child or pure silliness with a friend. Or pure love with a spouse. And we don’t have to travel into this new world of acting like the royalty we are on our own strength. In fact, we cannot do it without the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.
We can defeat the enemy and keep him from destroying our joy in this season by clinging tightly to what God says about us.
Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
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Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
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