Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Clean Heart

Our women's retreat is being held at Murrieta, and the ladies showed up last night ready to receive from the Lord. In the midst of an economic hard-time, 580 women thought that getting away with the Lord and other women was something they needed to do, and it was such a blessing to be with them. The theme this year is A Clean Heart, and we began the teachings last night by looking at Ps 51. We all know that this psalm was written after David had his infamous affair with the beautiful Bathsheba and expresses the deep anguish of his soul. In it he cries out for God to mend the bones that He had broken, and asks God to create in him (David) a clean heart. He did not want reformation, or renovation, but re-creation and cried out to God for that to happen for him. Of course, this is the wisest thing to do, as God is the healer of broken hearts, and God is the maker of all things new, and because of David's broken and contrite spirit, God met him in a beautiful way.
I mentioned to the ladies last night that Bathsheba was interesting, as she willingly yielded to David's advances, but after having intimacy with him went and performed the Law of Moses' requirement for ritual washing. I mentioned it is like going out with someone, having intercourse with them, and then coming to church the next day thinking everything is all right. Bathing or showering after the fact does not make the heart clean, as the stain of sin is on the inside and not on the outside. David and Bathsheba needed God to cleanse their inside, and that could only come from His washing and cleansing. 
I believe the Lord wants to do a cleansing in our hearts, daily. Like David, I have come to understand that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, and that a broken and contrite heart God will not despise. In other words, weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning. 
Sometimes I fear that my fellowship does not understand why I so constantly encourage people to be real and honest with themselves, and God. It is because this is where healing has its origin. Too many people are deceiving themselves by reducing the evilness of sin, and misunderstanding the grace of God and as a result believe in a kind of grace that permits them to sin like the devil but still go to heaven. Of course, this is not true and isn't taught in the bible, but I encounter great amounts of people who, though they do not specifically say this, live this way every day. They go out on a Saturday, party or whatever, and then BANG they are in church the next morning, sometimes teaching in the children's ministry with no sense that they have done wrong. 
The fact is, David knew he had sinned, greatly. He said Against You, and You alone have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight--God, I am so sorry because I sinned against You, and I need You to forgive me. And God did, but the repercussions remained for the rest of his life.
When we have the sense of God's forgiveness, we are then placed in a position of speaking with understanding. David said Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You. God, by your mercy extended to me, I can become an example of just how merciful and forgiving You are, and I will share Your wonderful grace and mercy to all who will hear. There is just a joy in being forgiven that moves us to share with others, and David found it a joy to be able to share with others of God's great love. 
He said O Lord open my lips and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. May that be our prayer today, that we as forgiven people simply open our mouths to share of His great love, and that our lives reveal what God can do with a broken vessel.
See you in church tomorrow! Daylight savings time starts, so don't forget to change your clocks. First service is going to be very very small!

1 comment:

Melanie Morasse said...

Hey Pastor David,
WOW! Friday night at the retreat was awesome! The ladies were so ready to worship and received from the Lord. The entire retreat was amazing as we were restored, refreshed, and renewed.
You and Marie have been an incredible blessing to David and me as we have grown in the Lord and raised our babies. Thank you for that. It has been a privilege and a joy to serve under your ministry and be a part of the work the Lord is doing here.
May the Lord continue to use you mightily!
Can't wait for Israel...only two more weeks!
We love you.
Melanie Morasse