Keys to a Clean Heart – The First Step

Do you have peace in the deepest places inside you? Or do you know that something is wrong, but you are not sure what? Everyone is born with a broken link to the eternal. We were created to enjoy fellowship with an infinite God, but something went wrong. Until this link is patched, we are lost.

What went wrong is that a human heart is filled with selfishness, or sin. This began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. We all make that choice—we want our own way more than we want a relationship with God. But God is not like that. He actually suffered and died to fix our selfishness problem and to restore a relationship with us. A holy God will not excuse sin, but he atoned for our sin himself.

How many people, if you steal from them, would be willing to go to jail for you? Jesus did more than this. He gave his life and then rose again to fix what we had broken by our sin. He restored the link. All you have to do is apply updates…by loving him back. Ask God to forgive your sin and to help you live rightly. Desire a relationship with him more than wanting your way. You will be amazed at how your desires change when his joy and peace flood your soul.

Click on Faith in God to read Scriptures about starting a relationship with God.

Once you begin your relationship with God, the Holy Spirit comes to you. He brings peace and joy! He wants to train you in right living. He knows that our hearts are a tangled mess of selfishness, and he will help straighten us out. The process of cleaning a heart is long and arduous. No one will be perfect this side of heaven, but he blesses our efforts to be more like him.

Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

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.

Psalm 51:9-12

The process of cleaning a heart begins with one realizing one’s sinful state and asking God for forgiveness. Even our best actions are like filthy rags before him (Isaiah 64:6). His standard is holiness, and we can’t reach that on our own. That is why Jesus died for us. So we don’t have to be perfect, just forgiven.

And he (Jesus) said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Mark 7:20-23

Once you are forgiven, then be grateful to God for what he has done. It’s like you owed millions of dollars, but a stranger spent his life paying your debt. Words can’t express how thankful we should be. Live each day out of this gratefulness, and his joy will fill you.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Humility is an honest appraisal of what we are like and what God is like. While God doesn’t want us to wallow in our shortcomings, he wants us to understand the truth of our situation. We need him to save us. Cleaning one’s heart begins with understanding why it is dirty. My next several blogs will focus on more steps for cleaning a heart.

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