Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
by: Susan Bond.
I was praying for a pure heart (Matthew 5:8) when I thought of the refiner’s fire (Malachi 3:2-4:2). I drew back, not wanting to go through fire. Then, I remembered that because Jesus went through the fiery trial of crucifixion, exchanging places with me so that his Father could not even look upon him, I am already seen as pure (2 Corinthians 5:21).
While it is up to me to guard my heart daily, repenting of sin, I don’t have to consider myself a “Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God” (Title of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards), but rather a sheep held in the arms of my Shepherd who will carry me through every fire.