Today I had the privilege of sharing a word during our monthly “Women of Faith” meeting and it was amazing! When Aunty C first asked me to share in the meeting I had a million and one ideas but nothing really stuck. Eventually, I did what I should have done in the first place and left it to God. I asked Him to purify my heart and give me only what He wanted to talk about, true to His word I woke up this morning knowing exactly what the topic was going to be. Below is an excerpt from my notes written at 6:30 this morning.
My prayer going into this is: “Lord it’s not even about me, it’s not about accolades or making Aunty Caro proud. It’s about You. Purify my heart and my intentions. Empty everything else out so the only thing on it will be what You put there.” Last night I fell asleep with no plan but God in His loving faithfulness had something better. He gave me a dream illustrating the destruction caused when our hearts aren’t pure, we may not act in physically destructive ways but the little things we let slide because they’re “not that deep” push us closer and closer to the edge until one day we wake up at the bottom of the cliff wondering why we jumped.
The dream starts with me at an event flirting with two guys. I knew both had feelings for me but I had no interest in either of them – it was just meant to be “harmless flirting”. The event comes to a close and it’s time to go home, one of the guys lives near me so we decide it makes sense to ride together. The other guy sees this, his ego gets bruised and he starts a fight. Now I’m standing there embarrassed but not surprised, asking myself “why did I do that?” as the dream fades out.
I hadn’t physically done anything to trigger this fight. Neither of them were my boyfriend so I wasn’t cheating. In the eyes of the world I was blameless. However, my interactions with both guys were nowhere near on par with the standard God calls His daughters to handle their brothers. My inappropriate behaviour opened the door for their false sense of entitlement which later led to jealousy and violence. In the eyes of the Lord I was wrong and I knew it.
A lot of the time we relate purity to sexual or physical acts but it covers a lot more than that. It’s the intent behind the things we do and the words we say. God wants us to be pure in our thoughts, words and actions. All of which flow from the heart. Therefore when we think about purity we can’t limit it to our actions, we have to start at the heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
- Proverbs 4:23 NIV
God wants us to be pure for our own good. He doesn’t want us to be sad about losing things He never wanted us to have. He definitely doesn’t want us triggering fights between guys who have no entitlement to us in the first place. Living a life that honours God becomes second nature when we are obedient and obedience is less of a battle when we let go of our own desires.
A common prayer we pray is “not my will but Yours Lord”. By saying this we’re saying that we only want the things God wants to happen, yet a lot of the time when things don’t go our way we’re upset. Even though it’s natural to be upset we need to be able to check ourselves to avoid dwelling in a place of sadness. “Why am I crying about this? Who am I grieving for? Myself or God?” If God removes something that He didn’t will for us to have why are we upset? Our prayer has been answered, why do we resent Him for it? Being pure in heart enables us to see God for who He is (a loving father, protector, provider) rather than who He isn’t (dictator, the one who took my boyfriend away, the one who won’t let me have fun).
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
– Matthew 5:8 NIV
That being said, it’s easy to say “be pure” but how do we put that into practice? By focusing on good and holy things. We need to be so filled with Him that there is no space for hatred, so focused that we can’t even see the things we’ve “lost”.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
– Philippians 4:8 NLT
What happens when we find ourselves thinking negatively?
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
In closing, my prayer is from Psalms 51:10, that God will create a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit in us all.