This is something I wrote off of my notes from our latest series at Oasis. It was only 2 weeks long, but I wish it had been longer. 🙂
If you don’t have the time to read it all at once and really think about it, please break it up into the two parts I’ve separated by the —–
Purity: God’s Standard For Our Life
“ Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” …Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.””
(1 Peter 1:13-16; 22-25a)
Standard: a set of beliefs that shape your life.
As Christians, we want to live according to God’s standards for our lives. But in order to do so, we must know what God’s standards for us are. Verse sixteen of 1 Peter 1 says “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” God has called us to be holy because He is holy. To be holy is the same as being without sin, without anything cheapening your life. We were created to be without sin, but we fell and cannot reach God’s standard on our own.
Many then think that God has set up do’s and don’t’s for us so we can attempt to reconcile our fall. Do’s and don’t’s just make us push at the boundaries. Instead of looking at what we can’t do, look at God. Turn your back and the hindrances of the world and embrace God for who He is.
But be prepared! Holiness and purity are not of this world.
The people who love purity are God’s children and warriors for the purity they love. We protect family and friends because we love them. If we love our purity, we will protect it. And what must we protect it against? We must protect our purity against the things that are attempting to darken our purity. These things scream at us to be impure like them. Say NO! and look at God.
Do you love your purity? Are you fighting to protect it?
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).
So what do we do to protect our purity? The answer is right there in Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all vigilance.” Some translations say “guard your heart,” which is probably a simpler term than keep your heart. Guarding your heart is like protecting your life, for “from your heart flowers the wellspring of life.” And it’s like a spring of clear water, because if you defile it a little, you defile it all because the sin gets circulated.
To guard your heart with all vigilance, you must ask God what you should and shouldn’t let in, then make sure that only what should go in goes in. Ask yourself two questions:
1. Will this propel me toward holiness or will it slow me down?
2. Does this fit in with my desire to be holy?
As an example of thinking things through, I’m going to use dating.
Dating: (according to Wikipedia) the act of going out on dates whereby one person socializes with a potential lover using a process that involves scheduled, usually exclusive, meetings of two people with mutual interest in one another.
So what exactly is wrong with dating?
Dating is shaped by culture, media, movies, and untrustworthy influences. People think it will make them happy, so they pursue false relationships. For themselves? False relationships? *warning light*
The two dating have the inability to commit to the situation. They think love is an expression. But love is a commitment. 1 Corinthians 13 love is REAL love – patient, kind, bears all things, is not self-seeking.
Because it’s not real love, the casual expression used when people say “I love you,” while dating is a lie, thus making you a liar.
< The person begins to steal love and affection from you that you should be giving to God.
If you truly love purity, you won’t put yourself in a place where you break it by lying and falsely committing.
The world makes dating seem like a way to “fill” a “need.” If there really is a need, fill it with GOD, not man. Man will leave you more empty than before.
There are two main kinds of relationships in the Bible:
Parents and Children
Husband and wife.
Until we’re ready to be married, we should not even consider dating.
When you are ready to be married, make sure you guard your heart even better.
Keep God first and don’t let those feelings in until it’s time.
Until you can commit to 1 Corinthians 13 love, what the world calls love is just lust. Think about it. Is lusting protecting your purity? NO!
So what do we do instead of dating?
Make the choice of who and when with God and purity as the standard. Put God first.
The world likes to attack us with things like “How are you going to find him?” and “How will you manage talking to him?” (that one’s simple… speak his language and know he exists…).
Answer the world with your faith and trust in God. He’ll take care of everything in His own good time. Don’t expect to pray and then find the guy and be married before you’re 22. It might happen, but often God makes us wait so He may be glorified even more in our lives.
Don’t let the media distract you. BE ON GUARD
If you’ve truly given your heart to God, He has to let you give it to someone else.
Ask questions about all parts of your life, evaluate your desires. Would you do this if Jesus were right by your side?
Opening your heart is like stepping out into an open street. If you don’t go carefully, you’ll be hit hard and ruin your life.
Your heart is precious, but it is capable of evil (Mark 7:21) Keep it from being vulnerable and easily reached.
Be asking yourself:
What does this want in my heart?
What will it do to me?
Is this something I should brush away in my pursuit of God?
What does a pure relationship look like? (whether with opposite genders or the same gender)
What does practically applying purity look like?