We have all probably heard others say, and very possibly said it ourselves: “I wish I had the excitement, zeal, boldness, etc. that I had when I first got saved.” Where did it go? Just maybe the zeal cooled down for lack of fuel on the fire. That was the case with me and I am profoundly thankful that God was faithful to His promise in Jeremiah 29:13 where it says: “When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly;”
I was reading in Psalms one day and came across the very familiar, “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me” in Psalm 51:10. I have heard this sentence probably hundreds of times as it was used often in the church I went to as a child. As it happened, I was reading from the Complete Jewish Bible version which was taken from the original Hebrew and translated into English the way we normally talk, and it reads just a little differently than I was used to.
The CJB says it this way: “Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.” I’m content with “renew a right spirit within me” but I found it quite exciting to consider the wider implications involved with “renew a resolute spirit within me.” Looking up resolute, I found it even more descriptive than I thought! The dictionary says: admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.
Well, since I keep finding these surprising little gems whenever I think I know the meaning of a word, I thought it might be good to look in a couple other translations of the Bible to see what they say about this “heart condition.” Both The Scriptures and my trusty forty-six year old, dilapidated New American Standard Bible both use the word “steadfast” in place of “right” and “resolute.” The definition is similar to resolute - firmly fixed in place; immovable; not subject to change.
We are certainly asking for anything but apathy when we pray using the words resolute or steadfast! Just imagine the impact Christians would have on their communities, states, and our entire country, if we all had a right/resolute/steadfast spirit renewed within us!
King David wrote Psalm 51 when the prophet, Nathan, came to him after his affair with Bathsheba, which was not public knowledge at the time, a fact proven by David’s reaction to Nathan confronting him about it. It was a hidden part of David’s life. David hid that sin with Bathsheba as best he could I’m sure. But God knows EVERYTHING, meaning David couldn’t hide anything from Him (and neither can we). This realization caught up with him eventually and then King David comprehended the fact that he needed this renewal of spirit. It is no wonder he pleaded with God, the only possible source of the needed renewal. One more thought on renewing a resolute/steadfast spirit within David or ourselves - “renewed” indicates a prior state, as in once existing but needing renewal – CPR for our once upon a time “right” spirit…
Then I backed up to the beginning – “create in me a clean heart” part. David knew that only God could perform the vital CPR on his once resolute spirit and he was equally aware that only God could create in him a clean heart - a spiritual version of a physical heart transplant.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NASB)