Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Can you feel it in your heart. Those areas that are black. Those corners that are so hard to let go off. No matter how hard we try, we cannot get rid of them. I find myself praying Lord, help me forgive this person and guess what comes into my heart - a sense of pride. A puffing up of my heart because I am praying to forgive. You see, I am praying to forgive, but in that act itself I am sinning because my heart wants to forgive to make myself look better, to be proud that I am doing the right thing. Such a wretched heart I have. Can you picture those black areas that are so hidden from even our own sight at times. We are utterly helpless against sin. It spreads and takes over like an uncontrollable virus. Even in our good deeds and apparent righteous acts, sin leaks in and seeks to destroy the good.
Search your heart. Can you find the offenses? Can you find the areas we need grace? The deepest parts of our beings that we think are okay because most of the rest of it is good (or maybe none of it is good)! The Psalmist writes "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" Psalm 139: 23-24.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me-
now let me rejoice.
Don't keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
And don't take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
The "joy of your salvation"! How can we find that joy with hearts that are so black and dirty. I think of this past Wednesday when we put ashes on our head - a sign of that dirtiness inside of us. A picture of the blackness that lives and dwells in our hearts.
I picture Jesus wiping it off! Jesus taking a cloth and blotting out the stains! Jesus taking a vacuum and vacuuming out the soot and dirt in the corners of my heart! He knows my heart. He knows the sins that I don't even know are there. He knows how to lead me in the way of everlasting life. He alone can clean my heart and make it white as snow! He can give me joy only because of His salvation. He can fill me with His Spirit to lead me in ways that are righteous and help me obey Him. None of this I can do on my own. I am helpless and weak yet in my weakness He is strong! 2 Corinthians 12:8 ..."My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness".
Lord, clean our hearts today! Renew our Spirit. Work your power in our weakness. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for dying for us that we may find the joy of your salvation. Help us live under the cross and all that it means for us today.