I encourage you to have a heart check-up. Sure, you need one for your physical heart, but I’m talking about checking up on your spiritual heart—your inner person. If you could X-ray your spiritual heart, would it look dirty? Does it need cleaning? I’ve examined the hard heart, the cheerless heart, and the greedy heart. The Bible also has a lot to say about having a pure heart.

In Psalm 51:10, we have that famous prayer of David’s: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David was desperate to have his heart purified because he had fallen and sinned badly. You know the story of his lust for Bathsheba and how that led him to adultery and murder. His heart was very dirty because David had deliberately and willfully disobeyed God and done what he knew was wrong to do.

In this Psalm, he begs God to give him a pure heart again. Maybe that’s where you are today. You know your heart is dirty and you really want it to be pure again. God is in the business of cleaning us up, and he is waiting to be merciful to you. All you need to do is follow David’s example and confess your sin—openly and honestly. Confess it to God, be willing to make restitution if that is feasible or necessary, and come clean. Stop covering it up, stop rationalizing it away, and stop trying to pretend it’s not a big deal. Just come clean before God and he will gladly and graciously give you a pure heart again.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). When your heart is pure before God, you will be able to see him—both in eternity and here on this earth. You’ll know his presence in your life, you won’t feel alone or abandoned, and you’ll have that incredible peace that comes when the accounts between you and God are clear.

Psalm 24:3-4 asks this question: “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.” That’s really a paraphrase of what Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). We have communication with God and are able to know him only when we have pure hearts.

And how do we keep our hearts pure? Psalm 119:9-11 answers that question: “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Purity of heart comes to us when we live according to the Word of God and hide it in our hearts. There is no other way.