Like many of you, I still find myself bogged down by the dirt in my own heart. I have thoughts that I’m too embarrassed to share. I let worldly desires cloud my judgement. And I occasionally watch a movie that separates me from God instead of drawing me closer to His heart.
So here I am in 2018, personally challenged to focus on the word “pure”… what it means for this ministry and what it means for my life.
I can see clearly now
When we think of the word “pure”, we tend to think of “perfection.” We can’t mess up. We can’t sin or make a mistake.
But we forget about the other synonyms for the word like “authentic,” “plain,” “real,” “simple,” and “transparent.” Purity is deeper than a perfect performance. It’s more than a list of rights and wrongs. Purity gives us a crystal, clear focus.
So, this year, I choose to focus on being “pure” for the same reason I still wear my purity ring (even though I’m married).
I want to live for God. I want to see God.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).”
A perfect performance, saving sex for marriage, and following all the rules won’t help us see God. It’s the pure in heart who see Him. True purity doesn’t focus on a long list of do’s and don’ts. True purity is a properly ordered love, a singleness of heart toward God.
What if the church has been missing out on the simplicity of purity, the clarity that it brings to life, the way it lets us see God? That’s what I want. I want to see Him clearly.
To the pure all things are pure
Do you want to know God’s ways? Do you want to know His will for your life? Be pure of heart.
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds [Their understanding, whereby they should distinguish between what is lawful and what is unlawful, and their conscience, whereby they should judge of their own actions] and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him (Titus 1:15-16).”
Satan would love to keep us in the fog of confusion, crippled by the inability to distinguish right from wrong. When our conscience is weakened, our resolve is compromised and our loyalties are self-centered. But when we love what God loves, we want what He wants. We see Him, and will never be confused. Our “yes” can always be “yes” because we are only listening to one voice… Jesus Christ.
When we say yes to something, we won’t later change our mind because of a worldly temptation or persuasive argument. We can be sure of our direction because we are only concerned with living for Him. We have one source. One path. Anything more than that is confusion from Satan.
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one (Matthew 5:7).”
The pure in heart care about God’s ways. They want what God wants. And they follow His instructions for their life, not out of blind obedience, but out of faithful love.
To the impure nothing is pure
An impure heart, on the other-hand, is constantly confused and self-justifying. An impure heart doesn’t fear God or care about His ways. An impure heart creates its own rules and constantly makes excuses for wrongdoing… “I only look at porn sometimes. It doesn’t affect me. It’s my body. I can wear whatever I want. Sex doesn’t hurt anyone. I am who I am. The movies I watch don’t matter. I love him so it’s okay to have sex.”
Do those lies sound familiar? You may not be watching porn or having casual sex, but an impure mind clouds our judgement. To the impure nothing is pure. It’s dirty. Murky. Confusing.
But if you’re like me, you yearn for simplicity. If you yearn for the purity of clear thinking and a real, transparent lifestyle, you can find it by passionately pursuing God. Love God and you will see His ways. You can be done with the confusion. You can be done with the drama. You can see things like crystal clear glass. Purity simplifies the voices in our heads. It says… I don’t do things my way. I do things one way… God’s way.
What if I’m already impure? Join the club! That’s where we all start! On our own, we are filthy before God (Isaiah 64:6). We all start off at the same spot. Anything you have done or anything someone has done to you can be forgiven. As we grow up, as we get older, our innocence may be lost. You may be taken advantage of or you may have compromised your own integrity. But our purity… that is in God’s hands. And if you ask him today to restore your purity, if you say, “God I want to live for you. I want to passionately pursue you”… you can stand before Jesus PURE.
What if I’m not a virgin? All the more reason to receive His grace! You see, people often confuse purity with virginity. We have this concept that we are born pure and perfect and that our virginity is measure of that purity. We think purity is a physical status. But it’s not. Purity is a condition of the heart. Sexual purity – like all purity – can be restored. We were all impure and only through the blood of Jesus can we be clean. Our virginity is not what makes us pure. God does.
What if I still desire evil things? Your desire for purity can start today! The fact that you are reading this blog tells me that God is working in your life and the light of His ways is starting to break through the darkness within you.
Purity doesn’t come from within. It comes from God. That’s why the psalmist’s prayer reads “Create in me a pure heart.” It doesn’t say… “Help me keep my pure heart” or “Don’t let me lose my purity.”
Our purity is not ours to lose. It is God’s to give.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).”
Passionately pursue the heart of God with your whole life…. your plans, your dreams, and even your body… and you will see Him.
I look forward to seeing God clearly this year.