Today I would like us to focus on purity and how we can make purity a part of our daily lives. We often hear this phrase when it comes to young people and marriage, but purity is far more than abstaining from sex until marriage. Purity is about the state of your heart before an almighty God. Today I want you to meditate on purity and the state of your heart before God.
The Psalmist states in Psalm 24:1-6 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean handsand a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully…
Those who may stand in God’s holy place or as the writer of Hebrews states those who will go boldly before the throne of grace are those who are children of God. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11 concerning taking the Lords Supper that we should examine ourselves because we should not take the Lord’s Supper with impurities in our lives. Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” When we go before the Lord in prayer and in fasting it is important that we have a pure heart. It is important that our lives are free of all the junk that gets in the way of us and God.
We find other scriptures that speak of the importance of purity. 2 Timothy 2:19-21 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[a] depart from iniquity.”20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
God knows who are His children by the state of their heart. Proverbs 21:2 “every way of man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” God wants our hearts and he wants them pure. David in Psalm 51 asked God for a clean heart, other translation say pure heart, after his sin with Bathsheba. We are to keep ourselves from iniquity and therefore be a vessel of honor, useful for God and prepared for every good work. Keeping our hearts pure allows us to be used by God in big and powerful ways and it prepares us for what God wants to do in our lives. James 4:8 tells us that we are to draw near to God and he will draw near to us and immediately after that statement he says that we are to cleanse our hands (you sinners) and purify our hearts (you double-minded). We cannot draw near to God nor can He draw near to us with sin our hearts or if we are double-minded (unstable, wavering, indecisive). Sin separates us from God. That is why the bible talks so much about purity because it is the only way to keep the relationship between God and us open and vibrant. Purity is of utmost importance if we are to see Jesus revealed in our lives and see God’s purpose and plan revealed to us.
I want to be clear on this however and make the distinction that purity does not mean perfect. Usually we hear this word and say well God knows my heart and I can never be perfect etc. You are right that God knows our heart. Jeremiah says that the heart is “deceitfully wicked above all things, and desperately sick…” This is the state of our hearts. Meaning without Jesus in our lives the heart is full of sin and wickedness, that is the state of the flesh and we have to constantly kill the flesh because of its propensity towards wickedness.
So saying “God knows my heart” is often a copout for not wanting to change or it’s a copout because you see purity as being perfect and you can’t be perfect. Again, you are right no one can ever be perfect, but the beauty is that God is not asking us to. God is not saying we must be perfect or without sin. We are human, and we will make mistakes, fall, sin and get it wrong. God is saying however, that when we pray and when we fast and when we make decisions to draw closer to God, to seek first the kingdom of God, then we are to first purify our hearts. We are to cleanse our minds and our hearts from any known sin. God desires purity in our lives and it is Him who gives it to us through forgiveness, mercy and grace.
I want to encourage you on this 7th day of fasting and prayer to continually purify your hearts every day before the Lord. His mercy is renewed every morning. Each day He allows us to wake up is a day to cleanse our lives and purify our hearts through His forgiveness, mercy and grace. As you pray today, ask God to purify your heart and give you the strength to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Ask Holy Spirit to guide you and be sensitive to His leading as He will help you continually live a life of purity for Him.