Cleans Right Up
Let me begin with an apology. The past several weeks have been very busy - so between family visiting, lots of activities at The Harvest and our personal travel, I have been unable to write a weekly devotional. To make matters worse, I didn’t take time to let anyone know why I wasn’t writing, and so I received a few emails from folks wondering if they had been dropped from the email list! So all that to say, I’m sorry if the lack of devotionals made you concerned. There was nothing wrong, other than I’m not as organized as I should be!
Over the past few weeks there have been several times that I have stopped and thought, “Oh, I should write about this situation in the next devotional!” However, those ideas didn’t seem to stick with me. But there was one topic that did come up multiple times over the past few weeks, and because of those conversations I’ve continued to ponder the subject of “forgiveness.”
This was certainly true as I recently talked with one of the single moms at our church. As I listened to her struggle with the guilt and shame of where her sin had taken her, I was reminded of Psalm 51:10, where King David writes: “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.” Many of us who were raised in the church are familiar with King David. He’s the shepherd boy who brought down Goliath, played the harp to soothe King Saul’s troubled mind, and went on to be not only be the king of Israel himself, but a direct ancestor of Jesus. He wrote many of the Psalms, and is described in the Bible as a “man after God's own heart.” He is truly a hero of our faith.
However, David is also the man who had an affair with a married woman, got her pregnant, and then sent her husband off to war to be killed so that his sin wouldn't be discovered. So, although we may not have committed those same sins, in many ways David was just like us. He loved God, and pursued God, but he also found himself entangled in great sin. But one of the things that really encourages me about David is that he knew both the magnitude of his own sin, and the enormity of God’s forgiveness. He was confident that, through humbling himself and confessing his sins, he would be restored to God. That’s one of the reasons I love that verse in Psalm 51, and one of the reasons I love sharing it with folks who are struggling with guilt and shame over their own sins; because what was true for David is true for all of us. If we confess our sins, God will be faithful to forgive them, and to restore us in our relationship with Him.
Unfortunately, that’s often easier said than it is done. For too many of us, we want to hide our sin from God - hoping that either He won’t notice, or that we can just smooth over it without having to humble ourselves before God and admit we messed things up. But what David's story reminds us is that, even though our hearts might be overwhelmed with shame and sorrow, Gods' mercy is greater. So we can be confident that God is fully able wash away the guilt and shame we feel, and make things right. So that's where we need to start when it comes to our sin. No matter what it is, and no matter how long it's been since we've talked to God about it, we need to begin by humbling ourselves and letting Him in to our whole, messy house. But we’ll only have the confidence to do this when we remember the magnitude of His mercy.
So today, let's do this - let's be people of confession. Let’s take time to get quiet with God and tell Him our sins, and ask for forgiveness. Let’s allow Him to clean us all the way down to the deepest corners of our lives. Let’s surrender to Him fully, so that we can be made right with Him and fully experience His freedom.