During the ladies retreat this past weekend, God spoke to me about some things inside me that I need to address before He leads me to the next step in His calling for my life. One of these things was purity. Today, I began digging into what this could possibly mean for me and how to apply it to my heart. Who knew that I needed work in this area??? Not me! I mean, like, what? I’m pure! In fact, I have prayed Psalm 51 since I was a teenager. ”Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I guess I prayed this prayer and never really thought about what having a pure heart means. Thus, began the research…because that’s what I do when I don’t “get” it! I was so intrigued by what I discovered that I felt the need to share it! I hope you can appreciate what I’ve uncovered about purity, also. We hear the word “purity” and think about sexual purity. There is SO much more to it than just the sex issue. The Bible places great value on objects, sacrifices, hearts and motives being “pure.” Go to biblegateway.com and type the keyword “pure” or “purity” and see what comes up…pages and pages of references about pure gold, pure hearts, pure sacrifices, etc.
- The quality or condition of being pure: not mixed with anything else: clean and not harmful in any way.
- A quantitative assessment of homogeneity or uniformity.
- Freedom from sin or guilt; innocence; chastity
- The absence in speech or writing of slang or other elements deemed inappropriate.
- The degree to which a color is free from being mixed with other colors.
1. It’s time to confess ours sins and let God clean our hearts out. Sin and Jesus don’t mix!
I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Psalm 40 “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.
How exciting is this? When people see the change in us, they will believe and trust in God also!
2. There is a conflict that goes on continually between our spirit and flesh. Our bodies are the temples (houses) of God.
Mark 3:25 “And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
We want our spirit and our flesh to be working together, in sync, right? How can this be accomplished?
Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Galatians 5:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
3. In addition to being free from sin, this definition also states that purity means “freedom from guilt.” Allow God to not only forgive you of your sins, but forgive yourself. Let the guilt and shame from your past go! Condemnation is from the father of lies, the deceiver, Satan!
Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
Not convinced? Read Psalm 103 Wow! I love this passage!
4. Oh no, here we go…my mouth is getting me in trouble AGAIN! The Bible says,
Proverbs 15:26 “The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight.”
Philippians 2:14-16 addresses some other things that may come out of our mouths…
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
And of course, how about gossip? Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking guile, Lord!
5. Again, we can’t be mixing the world and sin with Jesus! Sin makes our hearts black!
2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
What are we watching on TV? What movies are we going to see? What are we reading/watching/looking at on the internet? Are they turning our hearts black?
And how about our motives? Why do we do the things we do? Is it for selfish reasons? Am I looking for approval, admiration? Is it out of guilt or obligation, out of fear? These are all impure motives. My motive should be to walk humbly with my God and be His hands and feet on this Earth.
Proverbs 16:2 “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”
Search my heart, search my soul. There’s nothing else that I want more.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
In John chapter 12, we see a beautiful example of pureness of heart toward our Lord. The setting is a dinner in Jesus’ honor in the town of Bethany where His good friend, Lazarus, Mary and Martha lived. Martha was Miss Busy Beaver, cleaning, cooking and bossing everyone around. She had volunteered to have this dinner, what a great idea! She volunteered to do this and do that. She was capable and available, so why not? She was so stressed out about making sure the details of the day went on without a hitch. Sound familiar? Meanwhile, Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking in each word He spoke and not caring one bit about the dinner party Martha was trying to pull off. She didn’t care about how clean the carpet was or if the napkins, plates and serving platters all coordinated. And she certainly was not concerned about timing the turkey and the potatoes to be done at the same time so that dinner would be hot simultaneously. She wasn’t stressed about the seating chart or if someone brought along an extra guest. None of this was on Mary’s mind. What she WAS concerned about was soaking up every word the Master spoke and enjoying every second she had with Him. She recognized and appreciated her close relationship with Jesus and desired only to be in His presence. Mary even went as far as anointing His feet with her most precious possession, a box of the purest, most expensive perfume, most fragrant ointment there was in those days (GASP!). She extravagantly poured it out onto Him, gave Him her everything. She was ridiculed, made fun of for this “wasteful” act. Judas was one who spoke up against her. Jesus told them to leave her alone and that He was pleased with Mary’s actions. She didn’t care what Martha said or Judas or anyone else in the room. Jesus was her only focus and priority in that moment.
I want to have a heart like Mary, a heart that is pure and poured out to my Jesus. I don’t want to be like Martha, who is so busy DOING that she doesn’t recognize the importance of just BEING in the presence of Jesus. I don’t want to be like Judas who thinks only about material and worldly things. I want my perspective and motives to be pure for God. I want to express my love and appreciation to the One who died for me by offering and pouring out my pure heart to Him. I want the Lord to look at me and say, “This is a good thing you are doing.” Just like He did to Mary. The cost for a pure heart is high. It means giving up a lot of things that I’ve been holding on to (hurts, betrayals, bad attitudes, wrong motives, etc.). It means saying “No” to stuff that I don’t need to be doing. It means putting aside time to spend with my Lord instead of filling my time with stuff like watching TV or other time wasters. It means watching my mouth, thinking before I speak, asking the Lord to “let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be acceptable to Him.” It’s a pricey act, but I have come to the place in my life that I am deciding it is worth it. It’s time to move on, get rid of the junk and be about my Father’s business. Amen?
How to get a pure heart and keep it:
Confess your sins, receive forgiveness.
Walk in the Spirit, so the flesh doesn’t take over! For more on walking in the Spirit, see Galatians 5
Let go of the guilt and condemnation from the past. God doesn’t remember those things, why do you keep bringing them up?
Get your thought life under control! Think on good things. Get rid of stinkin’ thinkin’!
Watch your mouth! Are you speaking things that will grace the ears of the hearers? Are you talking just to talk? If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
Be separate from the world, from their sin and bad influences. Be in the world, but not of the world.
Ask God to search your heart and see if there is anything in there that He doesn’t find clean and pure.
Desire to BE in His presence, not just DOING for Him. Relationship with God is a heart thing.
Then, break open the box of your most prized possession, your heart, yourself to Him.
Allow Him to consume you with His love and do an awesome work in your life.