As we consider ways to grow closer in our walk with God, two words come to mind – purity and glory.
Purity in being free from duplicity or double-mindedness.. Our human nature, or what I like to call our ‘self’ can never be perfectly pure until we are with our Lord in Heaven, but it is possible to work at living a pure life for the Lord, to attract others to Him and to have the close relationship with God that He so desires, and that we should desire as well. The Greek word for purity is hagneia (hag-ni’-ah) which denotes chastity which excludes all impurity of spirit, manner, or act. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2 “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”
Being “pure in heart,” involves inner cleansing: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” – Psalm 51:10. While the classical Greek word for “pure” (katharos) means being free from debt and guilt, the Biblical usage includes more than forgiveness. To be pure means to be single minded–free from the civil war of a divided self –being free from falsehood, hypocrisy, or pretense. The person who is rightly related to Jesus Christ will be pure in heart and life – 2 Timothy 2:19-22 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
If we are truly God’s children, we will desire to please Him. When Jesus blessed the “pure in heart” – Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” He affirmed that true happiness is loving God with our whole hearts, desiring that our whole lives please Him. In other words, purity demands that we remove anything and everything that would separate us from the holy presence of God – Habakkuk 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…”
Anyone who has the hope of seeing God “purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). Such a person begins and maintains a love relationship with God based on integrity and singularity of purpose. A pure life cannot exist without a pure heart set upon the Lord.
Glory – Greek word doxa (dox’-ah) – dignity, honour, praise, woship
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” God has laid this verse on my heart today as never before. Knowing it is not enough, I must take action to implement it in my walk. This is a huge challenge for all believers. We all face those temptations from the world that bring pleasure. Remember, worldly pleasures are temporary! The world is at enmity with God – James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” I believe the biggest help to be had in overcoming all temptation boils down to asking ourselves this one question: “Is it glorifying to God? Will this bring glory and honour to my heavenly Father?” I know, I know, it goes totally against our very nature to ask ourselves that question when there is something before us that we think we just have to do or have to have.
I can envision a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other when I am tempted by the evils of this world.
But, if I speak out loud or even whisper to myself “do all to the glory of God.” And then ask myself, “Is this going to glorify God? Is this going to help further the Kingdom of God?” I have the power of His Word and His Holy Spirit to the “renewing of my mind” to help me overcome temptation. Remember also, evil and its minions must flee at the very name of Jesus. “No, you go away in Jesus’ name!” I cannot begin to count the very many times I have spoken those words over the years. We must realize that as human beings, we have absolutely no power over the plans the destroyer has to create havoc in our lives, but God has given us His Word, the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to call on for His power! I am nothing without Him!
Remember! “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”
The next time you are tempted by ‘the evils of this world’ why not ask yourself, “Will it glorify God or help to further His Kingdom?” Stop playing games – giving in to sin and begging forgiveness and feeling unworthy, over and over and over again. The devil seeks to destroy and kill everything and everyone that belongs to God. Do not give him the glory!
Lastly, “I hate to think that I would be involved in some sin when the last trump sounds and Jesus says, ‘Anna, come up hither!'” What shame and remorse I would feel, I cannot even imagine. Why should we continue to choose more sin to feel ashamed of when we meet our loving Master? And we will ultimately stand before Jesus and give account for what we did on this earth after we received Him as our Saviour, Lord, and Master. It is up to us what we do and how we grow in Him. Will we always be successful? No, we will stumble, but at least we can know that we have the tools that He has given us at to do our best to be pure and glorify our Holy God. 1 Peter 1:16