This page is being dramatically re-vamped!!!!
This page is a little out-of-date, and so I am in the process of re-writing it.
I want to encourage you to be wholly devoted to God, guard your heart properly, be totally pure and do what God wants you to do. Let me tell you why.
Firstly, we want to live for God. Therefore we need, first and foremost, to strive - with God’s help - to be totally upright “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12b) Imagine if you will, a princess. Lady-like, graceful, noble – she is a radiant example to all around her. We need to be like that. ‘Pure in thought, word and deed.’ That is our goal! (As well as bringing glory to God through serving Him.) It was not until I read two particular books (see later) that I understood what that really meant. It is, though, not really something I could ‘tell’ you and you just ‘get,’ like ‘two plus two is four’. It’s something you - and I - have to discover for ourselves. Even now, I still struggle greatly with the thought side of purity. I’ll start thinking about romantic things or what the ‘perfect date’ would be for me and then realise that I shouldn’t be thinking about those things. God is helping me, though. If you struggle with your thoughts, ask God to help you overcome the power of the devil in that area and keep praying!
I also see so many Christians (and this includes me) who are not being whole-hearted in their faith. They might believe that Jesus died and rose again and they might have asked Him into their life, but they don’t shine with the radiance of Christ who is in them. They don’t try to love Christ wholeheartedly or surrender their total life to Him. Many settle for being ‘good’ Christians (obeying God most of the time just because that’s what the Bible says and reading the Bible but it’s a bit like a chore). They won’t try to be ‘best’ Christians (obeying God because you really want to please God and serve Him and reading the Bible because you want to know God more and more each day and wholeheartedly love Him). Basically, if you are a ‘best’ Christian your whole life revolves around Christ and serving Him. Our goal needs to be to bring glory to God in all that we do. We need to be living in Christ every moment of every day. We need to make every decision based on the Word.
There’s a hitch though: we can’t just ‘tolerate’ doing this, we must embrace these decisions because we want to follow Christ whole-heartedly. I’m working hard on this. Yes, it is hard and it will take a while, but you can’t make it if you don’t start at all! Maybe God is calling you to your knees to surrender every area of your life to Him. Pray. Ask God to help you. I can assure you, He will help you!
On the other hand to living for God and being totally pure, if we don’t guard our hearts diligently it can lead to danger. We girls – over the years – create a storehouse of romantic fantasies and ideas. (Like what we want our first date to be like, how ‘he’ will propose, where we want to get married and even the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses.) Unfortunately, this can lead to trouble. If we dwell on romantic ideas and fantasize often, we are likely to act on it somehow. Even itsy-bitsy little ‘not-the-best’s can lead to bigger, worse mistakes. If you just do something ‘little’ – like having a crush – you are likely to want to do something worse in the future. So, we need to guard our hearts against romantic thoughts.
Here are my first-hand suggestions for gaining a totally pure life, with useless thoughts, words and actions replaced with time spent concentrating on God and serving Him.
1. Pray! And keep praying! Ask God to help you live a totally pure life and serve Him in all that you do. Also, earnestly ask God what He wants you to do for Him, pursue that with all your heart and strength and “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1b) Serving Him will bring you great joy, peace and contentment! If you have trouble being consistent with prayer or daily devotions, ask someone to keep you accountable and try something like setting your alarm clock half-an-hour early until it’s a habit. Habits are helpful, but remember, it’s a privilege to pray. Don’t get legalistic about it.
2. Read God’s Word! (The Bible) You don’t have to read right through it at first, but do read some of it. You can also flick through it sometimes and see what He shows you. Here are some verses that I like (all emphases added): “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? Proverbs 20:9
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
9“I continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father.” Colossians 1:9-12
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: ... impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:17
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
3. Really listen to the words of some Christian songs! That helped me a lot. Got an iPod? Click “Shuffle Songs’ and start listening! God will use the lyrics to help and guide you! Here are some of the songs whose lyrics God used to help me:
v “Whatever You’re Doing” by Sanctus Real
v “Revelation” by Third Day
v “Dance,” “Lead Me to the Cross.” “The Mission,” “Presence,” “Lord” (“I Don’t Know”) and “On Your Knees” by Newsboys
v “Our God” by Chris Tomlin
v “The Words I Would Say” by Sidewalk Prophets
v “Made by God 4 God alone” by Colin Buchanan
4. Read “Before You Meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Mally! This book is one of the two that helped me a lot and is probably the best one to read first. Try hard to apply its concepts.
5. Read the other book that helped me – “The Lost Art of True Beauty” by Leslie Ludy. Apply the concepts in this book too.
6. Avoid anything that stirs up wrong thoughts or feelings! This may include listening to some of your friends talk, watching romantic movies or TV programs or reading romantic books.
7. You also need to be careful that you are not giving wrong impressions to people. Even listening can be harmful. I once listened to a friend when I should not have been and I realised that I gave a signal of agreement which, in this case, was not the signal I should have been sending.
8. If you struggle with your thoughts, try linking them with prayer. For example, when I think impurely, I try to pray for my non-Christian friends. The devil will think twice about tempting you with impure thoughts when he realises that you’re praying for lost souls whenever he does tempt you!
All in all, you just need to KEEP TRYING to be wholly devoted to God. Remember, though, we all fail sometimes. When we do, it’s important to remember that God will always forgive you and help you up again. As the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) We should never carry around guilt because we’ve failed God, nor should we give up because we think we can’t do it. Well, we can’t do it, but God can!
Well, that’s it for now. I want you to know that all these words are from my heart. (Although I got a lot of these ideas from my Mum!) None of us are finished projects, including me. There is still time to learn, whether you’re 9 or 99 (or anywhere in between)! I hope you get something out of this.
Love and prayers,
Cassandra Bryan ooo