(PART 2 of 2): A continuation of Purity’s Caveat:
“The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;”
– Psalm 19:8
Where else can we find such confidence in what is filtered from all impurities?
There is a ‘fountain of living water’ from which gushes a refreshment to the soul tainted by this life, despite the external battles from beyond our control and the grievances from within that pollute us. There is a futility that pervades our spirits and perverts our mind. An introspective question lingers, like the beggar without recourse but to beg for alms of virtue, we cling to the dust from which we cannot escape,
Who can say,
“I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin?”
– Proverbs 20:9
What thoughts can be stirred up? Philippians 4:8
What mind can principles habituate? 2 Timothy 1:3
What insights can illuminate my eyes? Psalm 19:8
What words can counsel my lips? Proverbs 15:26
What doings can keep my hands? Psalm 18:24
What motives can straighten my actions? Proverbs 20:11
If from the Lord then:
- Precepts (generalities to regulate behavior and thoughts) are RIGHT giving great joy to the heart.
- Commandments (a divine order to do something; a rule) is PURE making aware the eyes.
There is a freedom that comes with the rewards of purity: a brightness, a shining, a transparency that profits the charge found in 1 Timothy 5:22 “…keep yourself pure.” For in whatever our dealings may be, it is fitly said “to the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).
Purity is preparatory to the holiness of God. We are less jarred by the distance of the world’s calloused and jaded interest in purity, when we see it through the reverence for Holiness. For purity is out of sync with human nature. This is why the purity and holiness of the Lord celebrate the whole well-being of a person (rejoicing the HEART), and gives the ability to live with a full view of the landscapes of this life, by not being
‘left in the dark’ (enlightening the EYES).
For the souls who desire purity there is reserved the promise that “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). And to the degree of our willingness to walk with the Lord and delight in His word we find that “everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). Freedom from the dominion of sin and the habits that ensnare us begin with delighting in purity for a righteous harvest to be sown. For “wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:13).
Purity is not for the coward. Purity requires one to exchange kingdoms.
Beautiful is how Jesus said,
“What is the kingdom of God like?
And to what shall I compare it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took
and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree,
and the birds of the air made nests in its branches….
If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree,“Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 13:18-19; 17:5)
There is great rest and comfort in knowing that the transformation of the mind, heart, and soul of a person to love and delight in the purity of God’s word is in the precept found within this didactic story, for “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Purity is not merely one of many virtues. A person can be moral, but not be pure in the eyes of God. Purity is impossible for our human condition. But, the Kingdom of God, with the “fullness of His pleasure”, came to humanity, to make us “blameless and pure” before Him, and says,
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11,13,15.
Only God can transform the heart and human condition into something pure. Such a transformation is marked by the gospel of God (Romans 1:1-7 & chapter 5).
written by Michelle Kelso Kafer