Do you desire purity?
Let’s be honest, purity is a hard thing to come by today. It’s definitely not “just going to happen.” If we want to be pure, we’re going to have to pursue purity. But, for me, this is one of those “ledges” that I talked about last week. Making a commitment to pursue purity seems like a nice thing, but an impossible thing.
The struggle is just too real. I’m highly suspicious of anyone who would say otherwise.
So the question is, how do we pursue purity? Say we wanted to step up to the ledge of purity ready to jump off — how does God help us?
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping your word.
Don’t be thrown off by the word “young.” I hope that many of you reading this are young, but even if you’re not — I think this kind of youth refers not only to age, but spiritual maturity. How can the spiritually young grow in holiness? How can they pursue and take hold of purity? Well, that’s one of the reasons why God gave us His Word — it’s meant to help us.
I get nerdy about this sort-of thing because, as you likely know by now, we are passionate about the Word. Not only do we believe that it’s true — we are passionate about the Word because we believe that it is beautiful, powerful, life-giving, and helpful.
Here are 5 ways that God’s Word helps us in our pursuit of purity:
1. God’s Word is a map – If, like David, you’re beginning to see that those who walk in God’s ways are the happiest people in the universe, then you’ll likely be looking for a way to head in their direction. Jesus is the only one who perfectly kept the law of God and because of that, He’s the happiest of us all! If you want to be Christ-like, then you need a map or some sort of instructions. There is no way that you’re going to drift into Christ-likeness. The Word of God will point you the right way. Know and follow the map and you’ll likely end up where you want to go.
The Bible must be your chart, and you must exercise great watchfulness that your way may be according to its directions. You must take heed to your daily life as well as study your Bible, and you must study your Bible that you may take heed to your daily life. With great care a man will go astray if his map misleads him; but with the most accurate map he will still lose his road if he dos not take heed to it.
2. God’s Word is like corrective glasses – It’s hard to see something we’ve never seen before. God has a way of seeing life that is more accurate than your way of seeing life. His Word is like a filter that highlights realities beyond the scope of our natural vision. It reveals spiritual realities that we are typically unaware of. It helps lift our eyes from the temporary to the eternal — and this long-term, spiritually minded seeing and thinking is highly valuable in helping us make choices in regards to purity.
3. God’s Word is like soap and water – God’s Word has a cleansing effect on our spirits. It renews our mind, our thinking, our values — all of which are needed for walking in purity. In this way God’s Word transform us and sanctifies us.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth
God’s word is the glass which helps discover all spiritual deformity, and also the water and soap which washes and scours it away.
4. God’s Word is like a guardrail – I learned about boundaries in my twenties, and let me tell you, it was not a fun experience — but one that I’m incredibly thankful for. Boundaries are hard, but helpful. They help keep the good in and the bad out. Healthy boundaries also keep us from falling over the cliff. They are like a guardrail on a mountain road — even if you lose control of the car for a bit, the guardrail will keep you from flying over the ledge, giving you a chance to begin again. If you keep God’s Word, there is a sense in which it will also keep you. God’s Word is living and active — and part of it’s purpose is to preserve. I have made mistakes in regards to purity — but I know that God’s Word has kept these slip-ups from sending me over the edge. I almost can’t escape it. When I mess up sometimes I want to give-up — but God’s Word reminds me that, no, this is not the way I want to go. Sadly, I’ve know several people who didn’t “keep” the Word of God — who slipped up and found themselves falling further and further down the cliff of their desires and it’s resulted in a lot of “death” in their lives. They didn’t have the guardrail of God’s Word ringing in their constantly transformed and renewed mind reminding them that this isn’t the way to life or happiness.
There is no fence nor guard that can so effectually keep out every enemy as prayerful reading of the word of God.
5. God’s Word is a weapon – Battling sinful desire often feels like a fight with Goliath. I simply don’t have the strength to take him down. I need another strategy. A weapon that can hit and expose the liar for what he is. The best weapon against lies is the truth — and that’s exactly what God’s Word is — the truth! I can never anticipate when the enemy is going to jump out and try to take me down. Keeping God’s Word is like keeping an effective weapon with me at all times. Knowing God’s Word doesn’t make me super-spiritual, it makes me prepared to fight for my life at any moment.
The word is the only weapon for the hewing down and cutting off of this stubborn enemy, our lusts.
If you and I have any hope of keeping our way pure — we’ll need and the beauty, power, and life-giving help of the Word.
He is directed to the word of God for all direction, and we might say, for all promised assistance.