Living a life of purity is a wonderful existence!
The way of purity is a pathway of strength, confidence, comfort, and holiness.
Walking in purity is to maintain a ‘set-apart-ness‘ for a special purpose.
A life of purity is one that has been cleansed by the precious blood of Messiah, and is thereby free from corruption, guilt, shame, and darkness.
A pure life has the joy of a good, clean conscience, and a peaceful heart!
A pure life gives a refreshing strength and confidence that is like cold water refreshing a thirsty throat!!
But maintaining a pure life is not always the easy. Often it is a lonely and difficult pathway!
Peer pressure and family pressures can be challenging obstacles and hindrances that test our resolve to walk in purity. But . . . the blessings, the confidence, and the relationship we gain with the heavenly Father, far outweighs the hardships!
Some do not yet know the joy of a pure life, because they have not yet experienced the first lifting away of the weight of sin. The burden and weight of sin is initially dealt with and removed, when we first come to Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ].
When we personally turn to God, and personally accept the blood sacrifice that His Son made for us on the cross, then we begin to know the joy of a clean conscience, and the joy of a heart set free from sin and guilt. This is a mystery to those who remain weighted down with sin. Yet, the mystery vanishes when one accepts the loving sacrifice of the Saviour.
[If you have never accepted Yahushua as your Saviour, and you have not yet been saved, or Born-Again, then please see this brief article: Good News.]
When we become Born-Again, we begin a new journey — a life-long journey of walking with the Saviour.
Our journey with Yahushua is a journey of learning about His great love for us, and loving Him in return (1John 4:19). It is a journey of following Him, and learning to walk in purity, walking as He walked (1John 2:6).
Imitating Messiah’s Character
There is much about the Saviour that is worthy of our imitation.
Many times in Scripture, we are encouraged to be like Messiah, and to follow His example.
Learning to imitate Messiah’s character is the KEY to a life of purity!
(But before we look at the necessary supports needed to live a life of purity, let me lay some groundwork first, to help us understand how to hold onto the necessary supports.)
One of the most well-known Scripture passages regarding our imitation of Messiah is the following:
Yahushua said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
As this verse teaches us, IF we are to learn of Yahushua, learning His ways and His character, so that we may imitate Him, then our first step is to Take His Yoke Upon Us.
This is a choice — a decision.
We must decide whether we will take His yoke upon us, or not.
If we are truly Born-Again, then our decision to follow and imitate Messiah will be easy, because we finally understand His great love for us, and we have received His Holy Spirit!
But the decision to maintain our resolve to follow Messiah — the decision to continue within His yoke, can get clouded over by ‘the things of this world’ and by our fleshly, carnal nature.
Therefore, at times, our decision to ‘keep on following Messiah’ may need to be re-affirmed over and over again — sometimes daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes one-step-at-a-time.
With Father’s help however, we can make this on-going decision. With His mercy and grace, by crying out for His help, then He will help us and bring us into the wonderful blessing of a life of purity.
What Does It Mean to “Take My Yoke Upon You?”
What does it mean? – to take His yoke upon me?
Often it means to ‘take up your cross’ . . .
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (Matthew 16:24).
And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (Mark 8:34).
And He said to them all, If any man will come after Mme, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
As these verses show us, Yahushua calls His disciples to follow Him by ‘taking up the cross’.
Many do not like to hear this — the message of the cross.
Why is that?
Because the message of the cross is the message of a sacrificial life. It is a ‘sacrificial life’ that is the entrance into a life of purity.
The message of the cross is to say to God, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
Denial of Self
The ‘cross’ is a hard message for ‘Self’ to accept, because SELF wants its own way and none other!
Denying SELF is a message that the Enemy of our souls works incessantly to hide from us.
Denying of self is something the Enemy [the adversary – Satan] does not want us to understand and embrace. Why? Because denying of self is a key quality of Yahushua’s nature, character, and LOVE.
It was denial of self that enabled Yahushua Messiah to live a sacrificial life, and thus fulfill His Father’s purposes, and to consistently walk in victory!
What is the secret?
But what was the secret to His sacrificial life?
What was His motivation for His sacrificial life?
Certainly His LOVE for us was the dominant reason that He laid down his life for us (1John 3:16)!!!
But . . . there is another reason — He knew the rewards for His sacrifices:
… for THE JOY that was set before Him, He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2b).
It became Him [It was fitting for Him], … in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10).
As these verses reveal, Yahushua Messiah kept His eyes on the unseen, eternal realm.
Yahushua walked by faith, not by sight [just as all of us must do].
He knew deep within Himself that His sacrificial life would mean spiritual joy and blessings for multitudes!
The same is true for us.
When we are walking by faith, keeping our eyes on the unseen, eternal realm, then the sacrificial life becomes our heart’s desire! With our eyes on Yahushua and His great love for us, then we can become faithful and determined to abide in Him. As a result, we begin to be a blessing to others in ways we never imagined.
By our commitment to walk with Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God], and to live a ‘sacrificial life’, we begin to enter into a life of purity. Living a sacrificial life means we can begin to learn how to maintain a clean heart and a right spirit; we learn to seek His strength and grace to be able to ‘walk as He walked’ (1John 2:6).
Yes, sacrifice and denial of ‘SELF’ are hard words because ‘self’ does not want to hear it!
Choosing the sacrificial life is not easy for anyone.
Yet if we do not ever make the choice to walk in denial of self [even in small matters] — if we will not learn to deny our own selfishness, lusts, appetites, passions, and our own worldly wisdom, then we will not experience the rewarding JOY, confidence, and excellence of a pure life. Sadly, we will miss out on Father’s best plan for us!
“You cannot live for your own pleasure and for your own convenience without inevitably hurting and injuring the feelings and interests of practically everybody you meet.” – Thomas Merton
An Example for Us
There have been many in recent generations who are good examples for us. One of these is J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905).
Taylor was an English missionary to China, and he was mightily used by God. He toiled for many, many years for souls in China to come to God. At the time of his death, his remarkable work had resulted in 205 mission stations in China, with over 800 missionaries, and 125,000 Chinese Christians.
Early in his walk with God, Taylor began to live a life of self-denial. It was through his devotion and self-denial that he learned he could take God at His Word, and could trust and obey God in every area of his life!
There were many lessons that Taylor had to learn to fulfill his mission to reach China. One important lesson he learned and he told his fellow workers this:
- “Do not be afraid of the toil or the cross!”
Taylor understood that ‘the cross’ is where the power of God is (1Corinthians 1:18)! This insight is why Taylor was known for statements such as:
- An easy-going, non-self-denying life will never be one of power!
- Self-denial surely means something far greater than some slight and insignificant lessening of our self-indulgences!
- It is ever true that what costs little is worth little.
- Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.
Learning to deny ourselves is the KEY ingredient to a life of purity and strength.
Those who desire to love and follow Messiah Yahushua will consider all areas of their life that need adjustment to come into obedience to His Word.
When we truly love Yah, we will begin to pray for an obedient heart, pray for a willingness to deny ‘SELF’ and make changes. We will begin to regularly cry out to Yahuwah [the LORD] for His help to do, even doing a ‘baby step,’ in following the instructions of Scripture.
At times, denying ourselves will mean:
- choosing ‘affliction’ rather than iniquity.
- choosing the affliction of saying ‘No!’ to some pleasure of sin.
- choosing the affliction of rejection and reproach from others, rather than deny Messiah and His Words.
- choosing the affliction of loneliness, rather than be in the company of fools.
- choosing the affliction of being Self-disciplined, rather than be self-indulgent.
Denying ourselves by ‘taking up our cross’ means making adjustments and sacrifices.
If we are to ‘come into obedience’ with Yahuwah’s desires and wishes for His children, then . . .
- denying ‘self’ is KEY to our obedience and our purity!
When we begin to make the necessary adjustments in order to obey the Scriptures, then we are on the pathway to a life of purity. And — if we are a genuine ‘Thirsty Soul,’ then walking in God’s pathway for purity is a sure way to satisfy our thirsty soul.
What Are Some Vital STEPS?
And now, let us look at what are some vital and very necessary steps to take, what are the ‘supports’ we need, in order to know the JOY and the confidence of purity.
For some, the first, and very necessary STEP and personal adjustment we must do for finding the way of purity is to withdraw from, and abstain from, all sexual sins and perversions, as defined in the Scriptures!
We must learn for ourselves what are the very specific sexual sins that Father clearly reveals in His Word for us to avoid! And then, we must begin to completely turn away from these, and stop sinning in these areas.
- See these sexual sins and perversions listed in 1Thessalonians 4:3-7; 1Corinthians 6:9,10,18; Galatians 5:19-21; Luke 18:20; 1Timothy 1:8-11; and Leviticus 18:4-30.
Sadly and tragically, sexual sins and perversions are commonplace in our modern culture. It is grieving that multitudes today are deceived in this all-important area of our life.
Sexual sins are deeply heartbreaking defilements! If we will examine the above Scriptures, they clearly teach us that sexual sins defile our body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. To practice such sins and perversions is to violate the guidelines given by Yahuwah Elohim in His Word for living a life of well-being — living a life that is holy and pure!
We must make a sober-minded decision to avoid all sexual sins and perversions. Our decision needs to be based on God’s Word alone. Do not lean on our feelings or emotions or peers. Only after we begin to be obedient to the Scriptures, will we begin to have a glad confidence and a joyful peace that we are walking in the right direction!
Another essential STEP for finding the way of purity is to cease from defiling our body with destructive substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and mind-altering drugs. One can easily find the research studies that repeatedly warn of the damaging nature of these substances on our body. Yet our first reason for giving up such defilements is the Word of Yahuwah (see 1Corinthians 3:16,17; 1Corinthians 6:19), — because, as we saw in Your Body – The Temple of the Living God, our Creator is very interested in the preservation and well-being of our bodies!
These two, initial, all-important STEPS to walking in the way of purity are the first supports, and the beginning of the process of coming out of worldly ways, and coming into line with Father’s loving guidelines for His children.
Every one of us is ‘a work in progress’! Therefore, all of us must begin to pray and seek Father’s help and strength to gain victory over these sins. We need to trust Yah’s GREAT love for us, and that every ‘baby step’ we take will bring us closer to the purity and the strength and the peace that we long for.
It should also be understood that lying, stealing, hatred [which is the same as murder (1John 3:15)], and profanity, disrespect, and idolatry — all these actions need to be avoided! We are not to be associated with these sins in any way!! These things are wickedness according to Scripture, and can surely spoil the way of purity in our lives! (see Mark 7:20-23 and Galatians 5:19-21.)
Father’s Great Mercy
Truly we all have known the sadness of choosing impurity in some form.
We have all indulged in various defilements before coming to personally know the heavenly Father and His Word. However, all of Yahuwah’s children can thankfully say, “HalleluYAH for Father’s great mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing for me, through the blood of our Saviour Yahushua!”
Though our past may have the stains of defilements, the important thing to remember is the power of Yahushua’s blood. By Yahuwah’s mercy, Yahushua Messiah’s precious blood cleanses us from all inquity, and we become a ‘new creation’ in Messiah, our Saviour! As a new creation, we have a new beginning, a new joy, a new strength, and we can press forward with faith and love, and seek Yahuwah’s best for us!
Let us seek Yahuwah’s help, and be diligent to add to our faith something called ‘virtue‘ [moral excellence and purity] (2Peter 1:5)! Such excellence is foundational for worshipping Yahuwah in the beauty of holiness (Psalms 96:9).
As we saw in Be Ye Therefore…, Yahuwah has very excellent standards for His children to walk in to maintain our purity!
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
Perhaps many of us have already taken several of these initial steps, and are already holding onto these supports for maintaining purity. If so, let us continue our determined focus to fight the good fight of faith! Let us not give up nor become weary in well doing!!!
Regardless of the difficulties, the pathway of purity, is the way of strength, confidence, hope, and reward for Yahushua’s disciples:
The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction to the workers of iniquity (Proverbs 10:29).
The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them (Proverbs 11:3).
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul (Proverbs 16:17).
Our love for Yahuwah and our earnest efforts to obey the pure Word of Yahuwah is at the heart of walking in the pathway of purity. Our faith, commitment, discipline, and obedience are the things that please Yahuwah, and will bring us further along in our maturity, and in knowing His strength and joy.
Though we experience difficulties and loneliness by walking the pathway of purity, let us remember the apostle Paul’s exhortation:
Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Corinthians 4:17).
Our afflictions are small compared to the eternal weight of glory that awaits those who walk in Yahuwah’s pure pathway, living according to His Word!!
Gaining the eternal weight of glory begins with a commitment to walk in Yahuwah’s pathway of purity!
- Who Is The Chaste Virgin?– The Scriptures portray the betrothed Bride of Messiah as a Chaste Virgin. The Bridegroom has a plan for the Bride: that she might remain chaste. – by thewayprepared.com
- The Royal Road of the Holy Cross by Thomas a Kempis
- To This One Will I Look– three keys for pleasing God
- Preparing Your Heart– learning steps for serving God in purity and obedience
- The Key To Gaining Understanding – key insights for gaining understanding within the circle of our personal life
- How Can I Satisfy My Thirsty Soul? – three tips for satisfying our thirsty soul
- Dying to Self– A brief list of practical examples of how we experience “dying to self.”
- Your Body – The Temple of The Living God – learning the significance of our body as a set-apart, holy, and valuable treasure
- Breaking our hedge (Defilement explained)
- J. Hudson Taylor: God’s Mighty Man of Prayer
- Standing Against the Midianites – a very brief post by Natan Lawrence about the sexual looseness and perversion in our society, rooted in the spirit of Midian
- Sex Outside Marriage– The dangers of sexual defilement.
- What Makes Porn and Sexual Sin Different?