1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Renewal. A concept God brings my attention to quite often. Oh, we can ignore our sins so easily sometimes, qualifying them as “little” and justifying them in light of our overall, what we perceive as a “healthy”, spiritual life. Satan is constantly trying to distract us, to turn our attention away from God. And he is very smart, and sometimes very subtle and patient in his pursuits of distractions. The late TV night a couple of times a week that take the place of my prayer and bible study time. Ignoring that call from a friend because I just don’t feel like I can handle one more phone call, one more prayer request. The conversation about a co-worker that turns into a “can you believe she did that” gossip-fest. The seemingly fleeting thoughts of envy, judgement, and disapproval about how people around me live their lives that manifest themselves in my mind and that finally find expression in my speech and action. The “I-am-superior-to-you-because-I-have-overcome-that-struggle-years-ago” thinking that enters my complacent mind while I talk to a struggling brother or sister.
The problem here is that sin is sin, at least with regard to eternal consequences. And no matter how little it is, it’s big enough to keep us away from God. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death”. Sin takes on as many shapes and sizes as we allow Satan’s creativity to win the battle over our human insecurities. Our minds are spiritual battlefields, and they need constant renewal in Christ.
Who can “wash away all my inequities and cleanse me from my sin”? Only the blood of Christ, and He paid an immense prize for it. And it is only at the cross that we can find this renewal of mind, and only when we acknowledge the sacrifice that was made for it. Romans 6:23 has a second part to it: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Only an almighty and merciful God can create a salvation in which renewal, something so beautiful, is the result of the greatest sacrifice ever made.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.