Reasons Why We Should Seek A Clean Heart
There are several good reasons why we should seek a clean heart. We will give some of them.
1) In order to glorify God. There are other reasons which we will give, but this is the paramount reason. The others are scarcely to be mentioned in comparison with this. Any seeking which leaves out this motive is not only defective but unsuccessful. We are formed for the divine glory. This is a proposition too clear to be denied.
It is for the glory of God that his children should be like Him. It can never be for the glory of God to have sin in his children. We know that there are people who assert that we need a little sin to keep us humble. If this be true, then there ought to be a great number of humble people in the world. And if a little sin will make us humble, then a great deal of sin would make us exceedingly humble. Sin is humiliating, to be sure, but humiliation is not humility, there is a vast difference between the two.
It is the glory of Satan to have sin in his people, but it is not for the glory of God to have it in the children of God, because God is not the author of sin.
Just as far as a child of God has not been able to get rid of sin, it glorifies the devil, as much as to say that sin has been too mighty for divine grace to dislodge.
Sin glorifies the devil and its absence from the heart glorifies Him “who came to destroy the works of the devil.”
Sin is the work of the devil and it is his chief work. He who has been cleansed from all sin is a standing proof to men and devils that the work of Christ is a Success. The Christian who is not cleansed from all sin gives room for grave doubts whether the atonement is as represented in the word of God, for the word of God declares that Jesus saves from sin. The children of the devil glorify him by being sinful. The children of God glorify Him by being holy.
The scripture, in harmony with this great principle, gives it as the great reason that we should be holy, because God is holy. Hence it says, “As he which hath called you is holy so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy for I am holy.” God says in effect, “I am holy, my child, and that is the great reason why you should be holy.” As it is the glory of an honest man to have honest children, so it is the glory of a holy God that his children be holy.
Jesus in his prayer for the disciples said, “Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. I (John 17:1.) This ought to be the prayer of every child of God now. We ought to seek the incoming Holy Ghost not to consume this blessing upon our lusts, but that we may glorify God. Our prayer should be, not that we may be more useful, or have a great emotional blessing, but that we may be glorified in order to better glorify God.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, in order that I may the better glorify thee,” ought to be the chief motive of our prayer. Charles Wesley sings:
“That I thy mercy may proclaim,
That all mankind thy truth may see,
Hallow thy great and glorious name
And perfect holiness in me.”
Unless God has holy people in this world, then the infidel has the best of the argument and will be able to say that the Bible is an impractical book, commanding men to be holy when it is impossible. Holy men are necessary to prove the truth of the holy Bible to the world.
2) We ought to obtain a clean heart in order to increase our usefulness. A clean heart is one from which has been removed all spiritual sloth, fear of man and doubts. More than that, it is the indwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who gives special anointing for the service of God and a love and travail for the souls of men.
3) We ought to seek a clean heart because it gives us greater power in prayer. “If I regard iniquity in m heart the Lord will not hear me,” says the psalmist. No man who compromises with sin in his heart, who refuses to let it depart, who hugs it to himself, as an idol, need expect to be successful in prayer. Inbred sin is the cause of doubts that afflict while we pray, and no man can pray successfully who is afflicted with doubts, for “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
4) We ought to seek a clean heart most earnestly, because without it we can not enter heaven. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place?” is the question asked by the Psalmist, who also gives the answer thus: “He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.” “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” No one else has any right to expect to see him and live. It will be seen by this that holiness is not merely a luxury or an unimportant thing. It is an eternal necessity. Without it “no man shall see the Lord.” Taking that view, it is by no means an unimportant or secondary matter. We do not wonder with this view of the case that so many people make a specialty of holiness. We wonder that more people do not make it a specialty. We wonder how any one can read the Bible and not make it the one idea of life, for without it we had better never have come into this world, for it is the preparation for the better and holy world.
5) A clean heart is a great safeguard against backsliding. We do not mean to say that it will prevent backsliding, but it is the greatest safeguard against it that there is. It takes the traitor out of the heart. So the Apostle says to the church, “Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, but exhort one another daily.”
Reader, if you are a Christian, and have not yet obtained this “pearl of great price,” rest not until it is in your possession, for it brings heaven on earth as well as preparation for the greater heaven. It is the only safe way to live, and it is the blessed way to die. Cease not to supplicate until God has in your experience answered the prayer,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.”