In the Bible, God is very clear about His instructions regarding the subject of sex. Yet, this is the area which people want to find every loophole possible in order to avoid accountability to the Lord. We don’t want to believe in the strictness of His Word for many different reasons. What makes it even more challenging to understand God’s perspective is that we live in a hypersexualized society. The primary driver is the media and its incessant perpetuation of sexual liberation at every turn which makes the truth even more elusive. Over time, the repeated exposure to lust and all the things it brings slowly desensitizes and then finally numbs us.
1 Corinthians 6:18. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
In all transparency, I used to lead a lifestyle of promiscuity filled with carnal desires. In my view, God’s guidance was an outdated, ancient idea intended to kill any fun in the flesh. It felt like there was no relevancy to the Lord’s rigidity and what He wanted to accomplish so I ignorantly dismissed Him. I went about my business, calling the shots and dealing with the consequences to the best of my ability. Many years were spent in a cycle of broken hearts, low self-worth and feeling hardened against love.
Purity matters to God because sexual immorality destroys the mind, body and spirit. The reality is that we cannot pursue immorality and God at the same time because each one has distinct requirements. Now, purity is not to be confused with virginity as they are not the same. A virgin can still be impure because chastity is much more than just abstaining from premarital sex. It is a state that shifts our thoughts and focus on drawing closer to Jesus than to our own self-seeking desires. God has provided direction as He wants nothing more than to have us appear blameless and cleansed in His sight. Upon acceptance and adherence of His terms, we experience freedom and protection from the pain that always accompanies sin.
Galatians 5:17. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do what you want.
Purity affects every part of our lives from what we do, watch, listen and so forth. For example, it’s not just about avoiding pornography but also being on guard against popular TV shows and lyrics that arouse sexuality. It is a series of big and small decisions to choose what Jesus wants for us over what we want for ourselves. It’s about saying no to anything and anyone that leads to defilement so that we are preserved in as much holiness as possible. The ultimate goal is to imitate the example set by Jesus because He loves us purely and cares about how we treat ourselves and others. Even with a sordid past, it is never too late to seek purity. God’s grace is sufficient to restore us if we confess our sins, repent and allow Jesus to provide healing.
1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all righteousness.
God despises sin because it destroys His children. He was already aware of all our afflictions before creation. In spite of our blatant rebellion, He pre-arranged a ransom to redeem us from the captivity of darkness. This is a not a Get Out of Jail Free card to continue transgressing in disgraceful obedience. Instead, it is the God-given opportunity and privilege to right our wrongs in light of the cross.
1 Peter 2:24. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
There are some practical ways to seek purity while growing into an intimate relationship with God. Here is a list of a few things that keep me strongly convicted and in pursuit of His righteousness.
- Memorize Scriptures and turn to them when being tempted
- Spend time daily with the Lord to keep Him top-of-mind
- Take an inventory and eliminate any shows, movies, music, books, etc.
- Set clear boundaries and communicate them with others
- Reflect on all the favours which God has bestowed in the past to re-affirm this pursuit
This walk isn’t for everyone as there are demands which require complete obedience. It can be a strenuous task to turn away from prior conditioning especially if you come from a sexually adventurous past. I had to hit rock bottom to wake up from what I had accepted as normal. I got really sick and tired from giving myself away and never being replenished. I was ready and willing to stop the madness and thank God I did.
It’s been almost 4 years of renewed purity and I can’t even imagine how much heartbreak I’ve been delivered from in that time. It never feels like I’m missing out because sex or anything related is not worth forfeiting God’s mighty love. He’s been so graciously protective and I give Him all the glory for rescuing this humble sinner.