“Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God…”
by Commissioner David Edwards –
I want to begin this new year by calling on Salvationists of the Western Territory, and all who identify with us in the Body of Christ, to commit themselves to holy living.
We are a people called by God to “be holy even as (he) is holy.” One of the principal tenets of belief of this Army is in the “privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other words, we believe in the power of God to make us entirely and completely clean and free from sin. We believe that in his power we can stay clean. We can live holy lives. We can be holy people.
I have just finished reviewing the report and recommendations of the Territorial Youth Forum that was held in June of last year and note the resolve of the young people of this territory to commit themselves to holy living. I am encouraged. I believe that they can depend on the Spirit of God to aid them in their resolve.
I am encouraged by the tremendous response we have had to the Call to Prayer–Keeping in touch. There is an obvious hunger and thirst for the living God. God is blessing his work. Prayers are being answered. Souls are getting saved. People are being won into the Kingdom of God.
I am encouraged by the excitement that is taking place in so many of our corps as God’s people engage in prayer, study and discussion seeking to find out God’s will for the Army–as they engage in the process of visioning. They are focusing more on the mission. They are thinking like the stakeholders they are of the ministry in which they are involved.
Having noted all that, I feel led to issue this call for us to commit ourselves to holy living, for I believe first of all that this is what God wants us to do now. God wants us to examine our relationships with him. Have you been cleansed from sin? Have you been filled with his Spirit? For you to live a holy life, you have to be purified, empowered and filled with the Spirit.
Secondly, God’s enemy is not happy. He cannot be happy. God’s people are praying, working together and succeeding. The devil is out to put an end to that. I am therefore concerned when I hear stories of our people falling prey to his wiles and yielding to sin and wrong doing. I am even more concerned at the possibility that some of these same people might be carrying on in their sinful state, while maintaining a ministry, as though nothing has happened or is happening. At such times, a call to holiness is necessary.
Finally, we are living in serious times. We are facing tremendous challenges to the beliefs we hold and the values we cherish. We are coming under increasing pressure to abandon God’s standards and to arrive at a compromise with the world. We need to commit ourselves to holy living.
A prayer for holiness
A few years ago, after studying the life of David, king of Israel, I came to realize how fragile we all are in the face of sin. I resolved then to make his prayer my daily prayer. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) NIV
I would not suggest that I have become less fragile. But what I can tell you is that it is much better to pray that prayer in the face of such onslaughts, than to have to do so after you have surrendered to sin. Try it. I recommend it. It will help you to “be holy” and to stay holy.