The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Worship Songs from Satan: Create in Me a Clean Heart

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When you hear the term “worship song”, what comes to mind? Well, we like to think that worship songs were written by Christians who were trying to give their brothers and sisters in the Lord a new song to sing to the Lord. Worship songs are supposed to be a means by which we worship God. What does it mean to worship God? Worship is when your soul expresses its love, adoration, and devotion to God. Worship is supposed to bless God’s heart, not make Him groan in frustration. Now when you stand in church exercising your vocal cords while your mind is a million miles away, are you worshiping God? No, you’re just making a bunch of noise and He finds it very annoying. God loves you—A LOT. How would you like it if someone you really loved had his eyes glued to the football game on TV while he said, “You have no idea how much I love you.” Or how much you would enjoy having sex with your wife while she texted with her friend? In the Bible, God uses sex as His main metaphor for worship. By making such a shocking comparison and then calling His chosen people His bride, Yahweh drives home the point that our worship is extremely serious to Him. It is an intimate activity. It is something we should be doing when we are focused. It should ALWAYS be sincere.

So once we understand all of that, how appropriate is it for you to just walk into church and start singing whatever lyrics some guy with a guitar slaps up on the screen? Shouldn’t you at least be thinking about the lyrics and making sure that you can sing them sincerely to your glorious Creators? Yes, you should. But how many Christians do this? Not nearly enough, which is why we have many worship songs in circulation today which were clearly inspired by Satan. How do we know he was involved in the composition? Because they are so INSULTING to God. Leave it to Satan to call insulting words “worship.” And leave it to undiscerning Christians to just sing right along and slap God in the face while they pat themselves on the back for being so holy.

The song we want to dissect in this post is the very famous “Create in Me a Clean Heart.” The lyrics are pulled from just a few lines of Psalm 51. Gosh, if it comes from the Bible, it must be God-honoring, right? WRONG. The people who wrote the Bible were humans, and humans are not immune to being jumped on by demons. What do we do when demons are all over us? We doubt everything God has ever said to us. We fret and worry and wallow in shame and guilt. We make inappropriate requests. We reject His love and faithfulness. We’re a mess. Now God loves messes, and when we’re down, He’s right there with us, gently urging us back to truth. King David was majorly down in the dumps when he wrote Psalm 51. What he pens in this psalm are not words that are honoring to God, but a regurgitation of what demons are dumping into his head. To understand what’s going on, let’s back up a bit and get some context.

You’ve heard of David and Bathsheba. David’s rape of another man’s wife and then his murder of her husband is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. But as usual, we only ever tell part of the story. Christians have a real problem with telling complete stories from the Bible, and because of this we are constantly leading ourselves astray. In the retelling of David and Bathsheba, we tell how he lusted after the woman’s naked body, then used his rank as king to force her to have sex with him. Then we tell how he started to panic when she reported that she was pregnant. We tell about the shenanigans he went through trying to get her soldier husband Uriah to come back from the battlefield and sleep with her so that he could be fooled into thinking the kid was his. We tell how when that plan backfired, David had Uriah murdered on the battlefield, then took Bathsheba for his wife. Well, what a mess of willful rebellion. Even dedicated men like David have times when their flesh gets the better of them. Now that he thinks he’s covered up his crimes, David won’t repent. Well, Yahweh’s not having any of that. David is His loyal man, and He doesn’t like this sudden distance between them. So Yahweh sends the prophet Nathan to get in David’s face with a convicting metaphor that helps David see just how horrifically he’s behaved. Once Nathan lowers the boom on David and publicly accuses him of his sins, David immediately repents. And this is where we stop telling the story.

Well, this is crazy because we stop just before the really good part. Immediately after David repents, look at what Yahweh says:

David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against Yahweh.”

Then Nathan replied to David, “Yahweh has taken away your sin; you will not die.” (2 Sam. 12:13)

At this point, David has committed three offenses that should have resulted in his immediate execution according to Yahweh’s Old Covenant Laws: rape, adultery, and premeditated murder. THREE capital offenses, and yet what is Yahweh’s IMMEDIATE response the moment David repents? David has been forgiven. Yahweh has taken away his sins. Yahweh is making a three-time exception to His Laws for David’s sake. WOW! So the first words that Yahweh says when David is finally willing to talk about what he’s done are, “Don’t worry—you and I are good again.” WOW! Why don’t Christians ever tell this part of the story? Why don’t we point out the fact that under the Old Covenant, there wasn’t supposed to be any forgiveness of sins until animals were sacrificed and blood was spilt. At this point, David hasn’t sacrificed anything (and even if he had, it would have been counted as invalid because of his unrepentant heart). Yet here Yahweh is passing out total forgiveness of David’s crimes BEFORE David even gets out of his chair to go to the Tabernacle and offer Yahweh any sort of sin offering. This is one of the most powerful examples of grace and mercy in the Old Testament, yet we blow right past it. Gee, who is it that’s helping us close our eyes to this amazing moment? Satan. And Satan’s role in this story is coming right up.

Now that David is finally facing the truth about what he’s done, demons rapidly shift gears. Up until now they’ve been egging David on, telling him it’s no big deal, urging him to sweep it all under the rug. But now that David has gotten back into the right place with God, out comes the tidal wave of guilt and self-loathing. We can just imagine the kinds of things they’re saying in David’s mind: “WOW!! I can’t believe YOU of all people treated Yahweh so horrifically!” This man is in agony. But wait—Yahweh has ALREADY told David that he’s been forgiven and that he’s got nothing to worry about in his relationship with God. Well, Yahweh and Jesus have made you some pretty awesome promises about all of your sins being forgiven as well, but does that mean you never worry that They’re holding some grudge against you? Yahweh and Jesus both taught that salvation under the New Covenant would be a PERMANENT thing, yet many Christians today are greatly tormented by a fear that they’ll be suddenly cast out by God. Where does fear come from? Demons, of course. And Christians who desperately care about staying in a right relationship with God become prime targets for the old “God is going to reject you for what you’ve done” routine. It’s in the midst of his own battle with demonic condemnation that David sits down to pen Psalm 51. He’s getting pounded on with lies that maybe everything isn’t really alright between him and Yahweh after all, so he writes:

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. (Ps. 51:2)

Is this an appropriate request for a man who has ALREADY BEEN TOLD by Yahweh that he’s forgiven? No, it’s not. But David’s faith is having a weak moment.

Turn Your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt. (Ps. 51:9)

Yahweh already has. David doesn’t need to ask again. Can you hear how much fear is driving these statements? The poor guy is getting jumped on. We know how he feels, don’t we?

God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Ps. 51:10)

Under the Old Covenant, a clean heart was a reference to a heart that was righteous in Yahweh’s sight—meaning that all outstanding sins have been forgiven. Again, this is something David already has. He then asks Yahweh to renew a faithful spirit within him. We can understand his warped logic: he looks back in horror over his rebellious acts and he doesn’t want to fall into that trap again. But right now he’s already returned to Yahweh—he already has that faithful spirit renewed within him. This is like listening to a Christian today begging God to help them to really care about pleasing Him. Clearly if they’re praying such a prayer, they already have what they’re asking for. David already has what he’s asking for in this psalm. Is it good for our souls to keep asking God for things He’s already given us? No, it’s actually very detrimental to our faith and trust.

Do not banish me from Your Presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Ps. 51:11)

This is an insane request for David to be making at this point, and it just shows how much demons are persecuting him. There is NO WAY that Yahweh is going to banish a soul who is sincerely seeking Him. Yahweh DELIGHTS in showing mercy and compassion towards repentant souls—David knows this when he has a clear mind, for we see him celebrating this about Yahweh in other places. But here in Psalm 51, he’s temporarily lost his grip on even the most basic truths. We can relate. We have the same struggles today.

So then, what we have in Psalm 51 is a man who is actually in good standing with Yahweh, yet he’s having a faith crisis brought on by demons who are taking advantage of his sincere heart and deep love for Yahweh. What David’s writing down in this psalm are his anxious responses to the very negative, fear filled thoughts that demons are shoving into his brain. They say, “Yahweh is going to cast you out.” So David writes, “Please don’t cast me away from You.” They say, “Yahweh will never forgive you for what you’ve done.” So David writes, “Please forgive me.” Does this anxious, tormented exchange sound like a good source of worship lyrics? Not hardly. And yet a very popular song based on these fearful, demon inspired lyrics is widely circulated in the Church today. It’s called “Create in Me a Clean Heart” and the lyrics are as follows:

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from Thy Presence, oh Lord
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

(repeat)

Wow. What are we thinking when we sing these lyrics? They weren’t worship back when David originally wrote them, and they’re even worse today under the New Covenant. Let’s now examine what Yahweh is hearing when we sing these words to Him today.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Translation: “I know You say that all my sins were atoned for by Jesus, but I don’t believe You. Will You please forgive my sins?”

Cast me not away from Thy Presence, oh Lord

Translation: “I know You say I’m eternally accepted by You, but I don’t believe You. I actually have no confidence in Your faithfulness or love for me. Please, please, please don’t throw me away like so much trash—I know that’s something You’re prone to doing because You’re such a merciless, hard-to-please God.”

And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me

Translation: “I know You say that You sent the Holy Spirit to come and stay with me as a guarantee that all Your amazing promises of this New Covenant are real, but I don’t trust You or the Holy Spirit. I think He might just up and ditch me. Please don’t let Him. I know You say I’m Your child, but yeah right, like I can put any weight down on that. Please, please, please, don’t abandon me when I really want to be with You because I really believe that’s the sort of thing You do—turning Your back on the souls who really want You.”

Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

Translation: “I know You say I’m saved, but I don’t believe You. I’ve either decided I’m not really saved or I find the whole thing impossible to connect with. Please bring me back to some sense of confidence in You because I’ve been demonstrating throughout this whole song that I don’t have any. Oh, and please fix my soul attitude as I continue to proclaim my total doubt and rejection of all the promises I have in You.”

Does this sound like the kind of song that would bless God’s heart? Not hardly. So don’t sing it. The next time some undiscerning worship leader fires this one up, just close your eyes and say, “Lord, I’m so glad none of this applies to us.”

FURTHER READING:
Psalm 51: David Pleads for a Clean Heart
Worship Songs from Satan: Fall Afresh
Worship Songs from Satan: Build Your Kingdom Here

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