Monday, June 14, 2010

Purity - What does it mean and why is it important?

I bought a purity ring last week to mark a new beginning; another season in life.  A constant reminder of how God calls us to live.  Then it spurred me to write again after having spent some time in silence. So here we are, once again...

A search for common definitions on purity from several places yields these results:
freedom from contaminants: the absence, or degree of absence, of anything harmful, inferior, unwanted, or of a different type
innocence, virtue, clarity
Freedom from sin or guilt; innocence; chastity: "Teach your children . . . the belief in purity of body, mind and soul"
purity of heart or of life.
Freedom from any sinister or improper motives or views.
The theme being purity brings freedom for the body, mind and soul.  Freedom from guilt, sin, harmful things, even improper motives or views.  It has been a subject resonating with me for some time now; a challenge at times.  In the physical sense there is the obvious...I’ve been 14 months now roughly without my spouse by my side.  If you would have asked me 15 months ago if it was a possible task to take on, foregoing the physical for so long...I would have said you’re crazy! :)  I would have dubbed myself the least likely candidate for that job (as well as most other men I’m sure.)
I’m not saying it’s been a breeze or I haven’t had to face temptations, BUT there is something amazing in abstinence and purity.  For starters, it puts the focus all on God and off of self. (Perhaps we’ll elaborate on this another time)  Equally important areas in purity are of the mind and soul.  When we strive towards purity in all areas of our lives (even though we may stumble at times) the resulting freedom is priceless.  Our accuser can’t hold anything over us.  When we are selfless in our motives and actions it becomes difficult for Satan to make us question ourselves so we can stand firmly on the rock. “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2:22
What would it be like to daily ask God to reveal our hidden motives and expose our hearts openly before the Lord? “...He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts...” 1 Cor 4:5 We have to be willing to accept and change our thought process and our actions to be in line with His will for our lives...even when it’s inconvenient for us.  After all, if God is convicting us, isn’t it because He loves us and wants what is best for our lives?
Besides, the alternative is willingly giving Satan a foothold in our lives to create guilt, shame, helplessness, low self esteem, timidity, etc.  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7  Satan can tear us down and incapacitate our lives.  Perhaps this one area has been holding you back from the abundant life God has for you. 
Don’t buy into the lies anymore, you know the ones that liar tells you (and I know the ones he tells me.)  If it feels good... OR ...many other Christians are ok with (fill in the blank)...’s not a sin if I only take it “this” far...OR... music and movies don’t affect me...
...let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
Whatever it is that contaminates and the lies we buy know.  Choose purity, walk it out with God, set apart.  In the world, but not of the world, right?!! :)
Jesus is very fond of you and so am I,