A friend was updating me on his past year—a year in which he had been receiving ongoing medical treatment for cancer. The smile on his face was a powerful testimony to the good news he had just received. He said that at his one-year checkup the doctor announced that the test results all pointed to one thing: “You are totally clean!” What a difference two words can make! To my friend, totally clean meant every trace of the disease that had threatened his life only months before had been wiped from his body. We rejoiced to hear that he was totally clean!
King David, after his moral failure with Bathsheba, longed for a similar thing to happen in his heart. Hoping for the stains of his sin to be washed away, he cried out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). The good news for him and for us is that our sins can be taken care of. When we need cleansing, John’s familiar words bring hope: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
We can’t cleanse our own hearts; only God can do that. If we confess our sins to Him, He promises to make us totally clean!
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. —Orr