Renew Me, Oh God
The laptop computer that I am writing this article on is one that has been “refurbished.” While not a new machine, it is a computer which had any needed repairs or restorations done to it, and then the memory was cleared and the operating system put back into its original state so that it would perform like new again. It’s not technically brand-new, but it performs like it is. You could say it’s been renewed.
This got me thinking about our lives. We have all been created in the image of God, designed for relationship with Him, to worship Him and to serve Him. And in the beginning, when God created Adam and Eve, things were as they were intended to be – God in perfect relationship with His creation. However, within a short time, sin came into the world and that perfect relationship was broken and sin and death became part of our lives. One significant consequence of that rift is that each one of us must deal with a sinful nature which so often desires to do that which is contrary to God’s will. Yet, from that same moment sin entered the world, God put into motion a plan to redeem His creation and His people and to renew that relationship once again.
Let’s consider the scripture story of King David. King David recognized the problem of a sinful nature in his own life. While he desired to serve the Lord and to follow God’s will for his life, David still fell to sin and his own selfish desires. In fact, he wrote often about this in his many psalms. One of David’s lowest and darkest moments came after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of another man. The prophet Nathan came to David with the word of the Lord and confronted David about his sin. When David heard the words of Nathan, he confessed his sin and repented.
In his anguish, David wrote Psalm 51. Within the psalm David cried out to the Lord to forgive his sin and wash him clean. He confessed that he had turned from the Lord and sinned against God and others. But David didn’t simply ask God to forgive him and take his sin away, he asked God to actually renew his spirit, remake it like God intended it to be – a spirit focused on the Lord. We read this in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
As fantastic as David’s life story is, we each have a similar story to tell; a story of sin, or a story of selfish desire, or a story of lost focus or vision, all of which have separated us from or taken our eyes off of the Lord’s will and desire for our lives. And like David we need the Lord to renew us and give us a new vision for Him.
Ephesians 4:22 to 24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Here the apostle Paul calls those who have been brought to new life by Christ to take on a new attitude, one focused on the Lord and less on self; one filled with the desires to live as the Lord leads despite what we may desire for ourselves. But I would suggest this is not a one-time thing.
In Romans 12:2 we hear Paul say, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
If we are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, we need the Lord to renew us day by day. We need renewal in our own desires as we struggle against the desires of our sinful nature. We need renewal in our attitudes and behavior towards others as we seek to love others as Jesus has called us to love. And we need renewal of our passion and commitment to be active disciples of Christ, seeking to follow the Lord wherever and whenever He leads us. May that be our prayer today and, in the days, to come.