Create in Me a New Heart by Rev. Dr. Mario Li Hing
Sharing what I read and came up with, in my time of devotions recently, I read this Bible verse that caused me to approach prayer differently in this unique season.
David is responding to the Lord after he got exposed for his sin with Bathsheba by the prophet Nathan.
In his repentance and longing for reconnection, he cries out to the Lord and says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm.51:10
I discovered that the word used for create (bara’), here, matches the one used in Genesis 1:1 where God created something out of nothing in the very beginning.
Psalm.51:10 in The Message Translation reads like this:
“God, make a fresh start in me, shape a “Genesis” from the chaos of my life.”
David was not simply asking God to reform and reshape his heart.
He was not asking God to redeem what had gone wrong in his heart or to restore it to make it whole again.
He was also not asking Him to fix what had been broken.
From a place of repentance, David was pleading with the Lord for a new beginning, for a fresh start, for a brand-new heart, for resurrection…!
He was asking God to create a brand-new heart to replace the old.
He was willing to let the past die, never to be resurrected again, and instead receive a new heart.
He was willing to be rebirthed into a new season.
This was all in the context of wanting to be in closer relationship to God.
As I continued meditating on David’s prayer for a new heart, I was also reminded of the following verses:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.” Ezekiel.36:26-27
God promises not simply to reform our hearts but to give us brand-new ones. There is a removal of the old and a reception of the new.
This is such a radical exchange.
Reading these verses stirred my heart and made me wonder if God wants to match this new epoch we are stepping into with a brand-new heart.
This is what the Bride needs a brand-new-heart for her Bridegroom.
In the midst of this pandemic, one of my prayers up until now has been, ” Father God, please reform my heart. Refine it to become like gold. Change whatever needs to be changed in my life and ministry so that I am in perfect alignment with Heaven. I invite the fire of God to come and purify my heart, thoughts, motives, and passions.
I sense there is more not just for me but for us all, your Church.
God, give us to be realigned with You, resurrected by your Spirit and Love.”
Reform means to reform or reshape something that already existed.
Jeremiah 18 is a good example of this, as the potter decides to reform the clay that has been marred. Instead of throwing out the old clay and starting over, he chooses to reshape the existing clay.
Thank God for this.
While that passage is still a very significant “now word” it feels as though God is emphasizing a new word for us and for the Church in this new season.
What if, in this season, God is actually creating the new rather than reforming the old?
Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love, teach on, and have been challenged by reformation, it indeed has had its significant time and place in history.
History can prophesy into our present and future but what if in this unique season, God wants to take us beyond reformation of the past because He is creating something brand new?
What if, rather than reshape existing structures, mindsets and heart postures, He actually wants to do a new thing?
What if He is waiting for us to surrender the old so that we can receive the new?
I think in this time we need to be open to the possibility and even expect God to do something never done before.
What if God wants to match this unprecedented storm with an unprecedented new move ?
Today, will we make room for God to birth a new thing within our hearts, families, and churches?
Will we let go of the old to receive the new?
Will we let go of what is safe for something that is dangerously outside of our comfort zones?
Will we lean in close to the Father’s heartbeat to hear what new thing He might want to birth in and through us in this season?
What if, on the other side of this pandemic, we do not just have reformed hearts, but we have brand new ones instead?
What if the Church is not just reformed to become a better model of the one it was before the pandemic, but it becomes a brand-new wineskin so much so that people do not even recognize it because it is so fresh, vibrant, and able to steward the new wine of the season?
What if the following Scripture is actually a “now word”?
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?…” Isaiah.43:18-19
What if, in our present times, God wants to do something so completely new that we have never experienced or even heard of in our lifetime ?
What if the new thing God wants to do is so different from what we have seen before, so outside of our boxes, that it is even offensive to some because they have no grid, box, or program it will nicely fit into as in John.12:3 with Mary ?
What if the Holy Spirit wants to lead our lives, ministries, and churches beyond all of our best plans, strategies, visions, histories, and agendas in a whole new way that looks like nothing we have ever experienced before?
I am not saying that we should throw away everything we have spent our life building up until now but I do feel that God in our generation is about to birth a next great awakening.
Indeed, the billion-soul harvest has already begun for those who have eyes to see.
Let us not be surprised if the next great awakening comes in a way we have never seen throughout history before, or even in the midst of or on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn.
Let us be prepared, just in case God wants to completely transform, turn upside down, radically transform, and set new foundations for everything we have done up until this point.
Do not be surprised if everything in our world looks different soon; this actually might be the work of God.
There is no other time in history where the entire world has been affected exactly the same way as it is today.
There has been a global pause or reset for many of the people not on the front lines.
We need more than ever at this moment to press in for a mighty move of the Spirit, no matter what that might look like.
Now is our time to dream outside of the box, courageously follow and move beyond reforming old ways so that we can lean into receiving and helping to birth the new thing on God’s heart.
It is time to lean into intimacy with Jesus and to move wherever the Holy Spirit is leading even if it is into uncharted territory and in a new normal way.
There needs to be a yielding and willingness to move wherever the Spirit leads, in the smallest of details to the greatest even when we do not understand why.
There is never been a more opportune time to risk on the other side of this pandemic.
Enough time has now passed; change is inevitable. Normal will never look the same. I feel that the reformation of heart we have leaned into has prepared us precisely for this moment in history.
We are now in a pioneering and birthing season. God wants to move beyond reforming what has already existed to birthing something brand new in this new epoch.
The Spirit is brooding over our land again as at creation’s dawn, and the order of God goes forth “Let there be light!”
Beloved if we all believed God, can we realize what would happen?
A volume of believing prayer is ascending to the throne night and day and the whole continent shall surely experience a mighty revival by the Spirit and power of God.
Even if what God is doing in this new season feels uncomfortable because we have never seen or felt Him move like this before, remember that in this season, God is doing a new thing.
He is inviting us to lean in close to His heart so that we can see and receive the new thing He has in store for us.
Prayer for a New Heart and for a New Move
“Father God, we ask You in this moment to give us the strength to let go of every structure, discipline, strategy, reputation, previous success or failure that we have held onto dearly
Give us the grace to come to a place of absolute surrender of the old in our lives
Help us to lay it all on the altar and to ask for Your Spirit to come afresh
We surrender everything we have known and we lay our lives at Your feet
We invite the Holy Spirit to come and fill us with Your power
Give us the courage we will need to welcome the new that You have for us in this season, regardless of what it looks or feels like
We want more of You no matter the cost
Let our hearts explode with love for You and Your people like never before
Help us to recognize our need for You today
Father God, create in us a new heart for this new season
Give us a new wineskin for the new wine You are pouring out
Give us a new mind to know You more
Fill us with new hopes, dreams, visions, and a new reality of Your amazing love for the lost
Give us a new capacity to connect more deeply with You than ever before
Father God, create in us a new heart and birth a new thing in and through us for such a time as this
Yes and Amen and let it be so for Your glory in Jesus’ Name.”