Impurity problems destroy so many lives. How many have fallen because of hearts overrun by lust for pleasure and power? Hardly a month goes by without a story appearing of this politician or that preacher falling into scandal. The mortgage sinkhole of 2008 was at its heart a purity problem. Running beneath it all was a river of greed. Nearly one out of every hundred Americans are presently sitting in jail cells, and one in 35 is under some form of correctional control. How many of these are there because of an inability to control their cravings and emotions? Long before these men and women were locked behind bars of steel, their hearts and minds were already in prison.
This week as we wrap up our journey together, I want to bring our purity discussion down to ground level, and explore how these principles get lived out in some very practical, down-to-earth places. We’ll start by speaking frankly about how broken and messy life is.
Let’s not in any way pretend that forty days was sufficient for breaking the back of our sinful habits. For many of you, in daring to face down this beast inside you, you’ve awakened a monster, and perhaps even made the problem worse. Don’t despair. After Normandy, it took several more years of fighting before Europe was liberated. Removing an occupying army requires blood, treasure and time.
For those of you who are single, purity pressures abound. I want to have a heart-to-heart with each of you, and encourage you to hold the line of holiness in an unholy age. If you’re married you’re not out of the woods by a long shot. You deal with unique pressures every day that challenge your resolve to love your spouse in a way that honors Christ.
One of the keys for walking in freedom is something I’ve hinted at along the way – sharing in holy conversations about the area of human sexuality as God designed it. We’ll take some dedicated time to talk about just how to do that.
When we began this journey way back when, perhaps you thought your life just needed a little remodeling. You had these big one or two sins that brought you running to the Cross, but other than that you thought you were in pretty good shape.
Then you started reading your Bible, going to church, and having coffee with Jesus each day, and suddenly, you began to see things you never saw before. Until it hit you: God’s not out to take your old life and splash on a fresh coat of paint over it. He’s out to gut the building from the inside out. He wants to rip the wiring out, smash in the walls, yank out the floors, and blast his way down to the studs and foundation.
Anything less than this is not Christianity.
As we wrap up this devotional, you’re not at an end. But really a beginning. Our readings this week will reflect that idea. The imitation of Christ will happen when you commit to walking with Christ each and every day, then refusing to let go. On their own, the apostles were uneducated and common men. Yet they took to the streets of Jerusalem with a boldness that astonished their enemies. How was this possible? their enemies asked themselves. Then they saw the answer right in front of them. Their enemies “recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). And this is our source of power as well. There is no other.
We are broken, and life is so very messy. So grab hold of Jesus’ hand, and start walking. Start engaging in holy conversations with each other. And he will get you safely home.