Last week, my girls small group began an 8-week series on the topic Purity. One thing I noticed, quite quickly really, was we all defined “purity” a little differently…
God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. – 1 Thessalonians 4:7
The last 8 months God has been teaching me what it means to live a life of purity. Growing up in the church, I have found that many Christians sell themselves short by believing the definition of purity that has been fed to them, that of which is said that living purely is based upon the state of one’s sexuality. Many believe that living a “pure life” is boring, stifling, and unadventurous…
I am here to tell you, I am learning it’s so much more.
Purity is the restoration of the image of God in you.
Genesis 1:26 says God created man in His own image. Adam and Eve were completely pure; they were completely consumed with doing the will of God. They walked with Him in the coolness of the day. They were completely unaffected by sin, completely unseparated from God.
Adam and Eve fell when they listened to serpent’s twisted and distorted version of the words of God, and began to doubt the Truth. Adam and Eve fell when they chose to believe and obey the words of the serpent, instead of the words of their Creator. Adam and Eve ingested sin. They became mixed.
Mixture is the combination of the purity of God and our sinful desire to please ourselves.
As a result of their mixture, Adam and Eve felt shame. They were suddenly tainted by sin, and could no longer dwell “in the coolness of the day” with their Creator. They were driven out of Paradise and forced to live on a cursed ground.
We, like Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. We were created unmixed. We make the choice to ingest things into our hearts and lives that mix us and ultimately separate us from the presence of God. We walk away from the Perfection of our maker and settle for the lies of the enemy. We have convinced ourselves that mediocrity is good enough. We have settled for less than perfection; for much less than we were created for.
Luckily for us, our Creator, who happens to have spoken the world into existence, and who holds the universe in the palm of His hand loves us enough to sacrifice His only Son on our behalf. Because of this, we can be forgiven for the all the detestable atrocities we (have and will) perform and can boldly approach the Throne of God. Because of His magnificent grace and forgiveness, we are given the invitation of a personal relationship with Him.
Fortunately, God doesn’t give up on us. He patiently holds us to the standard of Perfection. He loves us uncondionally and meets us where we are, yet challenges us to become more like Him and less like us. He longs to filtrate our soul and make us perfect again. God so wonderfully understands that perfection means unmixed. He understands that to be unmixed is to live freely, and once we are free the real adventure begins…. This kind of freedom allows us to be what we were created to be. Doesn’t that sound boring, stifling and unadventurous? Hardly.
“Be holy, because I am Holy.”
Don’t you know that you are the only Jesus that many people will ever see? In compromising your lifestyle you forfeit your capacity to accurately reflect God’s image and endanger an entire generation’s understanding of Jesus… Your Purity isn’t just about you.
If we continue to view purity as simply “no sex before marriage,” I fear we are severely missing our target. Although I am a strong advocate of sexual purity, I think that too often we forget to fix our gaze upon Jesus. We forget that we cannot attain it with our own human efforts. We forget that purity starts (and finishes) with Jesus. We fail to see that purity is a life journey and not merely an afternoon transformation. We need to begin to understand that true Purity, in whole, is a life unmixed; a life that accurately reflects the character and Lordship of our Creator.
I am learning purity is a process, one that must be created and sustained by spending time daily in His Word. I must daily submit to Him my hopes, dreams and future. I must choose to say yes to Him, even when I don’t understand and when it doesn’t feel good. I must daily pick up my cross and follow. Why? Because it attracts the presence of God and repels the devil, because it makes me more like Jesus and less like the world. I am learning I need to allow my heart to be transformed to God’s original intent, pure, without mixture.