Strategy 7: Your Purity (pages 119-131)
I was in my early twenties the first time I ever stood in front of an audience at church to speak. The topic? Purity. The youth pastor and I split up the guys and girls, and while the youth pastor talked to the guys in another room, I shared with a group of teenage girls all the reasons why purity is part of God’s design.
Over the years, I ended up giving that same talk on purity multiple times. So now, whenever I hear the word “purity,” I automatically think of “waiting until marriage.” But a life of purity involves more than the things we do and don’t do. It includes our thoughts and words too.
If I’m concealing pride, clinging to greed, or cringing with jealousy, I’m living with impure thoughts.
If I’m speaking unkind words, spreading lies, or sharing gossip, I’m living with impure words.
A life of purity means living in obedience to God’s Word with our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.
Purity and obedience go hand in hand. And when we’re walking in obedience, our prayers are poised to penetrate the spiritual realm with power. This is why the enemy of our souls works overtime to undermine our purity; he wants to thwart our lives in every way possible, and he doesn’t want our prayers puncturing his plans. In her book Fervent, Priscilla Shirer says,
“God calls you to purity because He wants your heart protected and at rest, inhospitable to the devil and his intentions.” (page 126)
Do we have a spiritual enemy who is seeking to destroy our purity and devour our very existence? Yes.
Should we be afraid? No.
Because God is greater.
Temptations are real. And we won’t make the right decision every single time. We’re sinners. Saved by grace. But by His grace, we can shake off the failures of the past and begin each day anew.
Purity isn’t about perfection, it’s about redemption.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross redeems us. We’re forgiven for every temptation we’ve ever succumbed to. Now we live to become more like Christ in all we think and say and do. And with His Spirit inside us, we can pray with power, knowing that “the One who is in [us] is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
For Monday, read Strategy 8: Your Pressures (pages 133-149)
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Do you ever feel as though your prayers are ricocheting off the ceiling? How does a life of purity infuse our prayers with power? Why are impure thoughts and words just as harmful as impure deeds?
Denise loves the world of words, where life and literature connect, but she’s most passionate about the one Book with living words — the Word of God. She’s the founder of Deeper Waters, a space where women can gather and grow deeper together. Her Bible studies — Word Writers: Ephesians and Word Writers: Philippians — will be released September 2016. Denise enjoys serving as the Editorial Coordinator at (in)courage, and she blogs at Embracing Grace and Truth, where she writes about faith, motherhood, and writing. When she’s not teaching in the classroom or at conferences, she’s trying to find shade in Southern California while sharing life with her husband and three kids.
As I read this chapter, those other aspects of purity also came to my mind. It’s not just about keeping our bodies pure till marriage. It’s about keeping our thoughts pure–free from pride, comparison and other thoughts that cause us to distort Jesus’ truth and love acting in our lives. It’s about our tones of voice when we talk with our children or husbands, or others. And yes, definitely purity is about our actions and how we treat others.
Yeah, God had a few things to say to me this morning as I read this chapter. 🙂 And the section you highlighted: ““God calls you to purity because He wants your heart protected and at rest, inhospitable to the devil and his intentions.” (page 126)
That spoke to my heart too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today, Denise! They resonated with me.
*A life of purity means living in obedience to God’s Word with our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.
*Purity isn’t about perfection, it’s about redemption.
These statements resonated with me. We are called to be obedient to God’s Word & live according to His Will for us. Even though we’re not perfect, He chose to redeem us & allow us to be in right standing with Him. Living a pure life is not always easy, but He knows that we’re imperfect creatures. So, we must renew our minds daily to keep our thoughts, words, & actions pure. Also, purity in prayer takes our prayers to another level of grace. Thanks Denise for your message today. It has truly been a blessing!
I liked how this chapter pointed out that it’s like a cycle. Fervent prayer leads to purity , and purity draws us close to God and increases our power in prayer. I hadn’t thought of it like that before.
Beth Williams says
I commonly think of purity as waiting till marriage. A life of purity means living in obedience to God’s Word with our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. We need to show this world by actions what a pure life looks like! Definitely we should be guarding our hearts from the arrows of the evil one! For out of the heart flows life! When we pray fervently we tend to instill good pure thoughts into our minds and hearts.
I think impure thoughts are just as harmful as impure deeds because thoughts become actions. Proverbs 4:23 (NCV) says “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” and in Matthew 15:18-20 (NIV)”The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts- murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person.” I often have to watch my thoughts more than anything. They hit you when you least expect them to, and very innocuously as if it wasn’t a direct ploy from the enemy. Learning to identify them will help me to avoid snuggling up to the lies of the enemy. My husband is not my enemy. My children are not my enemy. My family is not my enemy. My friends, my job, my circumstances, are not my enemy. Satan’s dirty little trick is to camouflage my perception of the situation to make it appear that I am under personal attack.. LOL. No more.. There is Light on the situation and his name is Jesus!! (I need a hand’s up emoji here LOL)