Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:1-10 NIV [Please read it all for insight into David’s heart after he committed adultery with Bathsheba]
Before we can expect to see any change in any of us, we must be willing to admit where we have fallen short and then seek God’s forgiveness. If we think we have never done anything wrong, we close the door on the transformation that only God can achieve in us.
None of us are perfect–though we strive for perfection as God defines it–not us, so there are areas in us we need to submit to God.
The first area in our lives that we need to submit to God is our “stinking thinking” so we can stop holding our noses. Yes, our thought life is what gets us into trouble and until we submit our thoughts to God, nothing will change in our lives. Why? Whatever we think about–extensively–is what we’ll act upon.
David’s adulterous act occurred first, in his thoughts–when he watched Bathsheba bathe on the roof top–had he been out with his army, he never would have been tempted. But then, he created a bigger mess having her husband killed. When the prophet Nathan pointed out to him that his deeds were not hidden from God, David repented and we are told that God saw David as a man after His own heart. In other words–when David acknowledged his sins and sought forgiveness–God was pleased. However, that does not mean that we should commit sin and repent in order to please God, but we do have an advocate when we fall short and He is always available to us. Our deeds are not hidden from God!
The second area in our lives that we need to submit to God is our tongue. We must watch what we say at all times. If we think first, then speak–chances are we’ll not say things we need to retract or back pedal later. We are admonished to be quick to listen and slow to speak. James warns us that the tongue–the little member–can ignite fires and wars–simply because we will not control it.
The final area–that should be first–is our heart. If we submit our heart to God and allow His love to saturate our being, we’ll focus our thoughts on Him, and we’ll hear Him when He corrects us, and we’ll learn to speak what He speaks. If we never submit our hearts to God, we’ll never focus on the things He would have us to focus upon and if our thoughts are not aligned with His, we’ll never speak what He speaks because we won’t hear Him. We are in need of transformation and this psalm is a perfect–transformational prayer.
Lord, we are in need of help, forgive us for all the wrong we’ve done and lead us to the path where You want us–submitting to Your will in all things. Transform us, Lord so we’ll be more like You–knowing how to love unconditionally all of Your children–without bias or fear or retribution from others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!