Bible Study: Create in Me a Pure Heart
Written by Christi Given | November 16, 2014
PI Girls, as you know, I love reading God’s Word and I will be contributing a couple of articles a month on a “Bible study” topic for you. My prayer is that these pieces will deepen your faith, stir a hunger for more truth and spark an interest in other facets of your relationship with Christ. Feel free to personally message me at facebook.com/ChristiGiven with any other additional questions, either based on these articles or for personal advice. May God bless you all.
Why is it important to have a pure and clean heart? If we are true disciples and walking with Christ, it is important to keep our hearts humble, contrite and open to God’s plan and purposes for our lives. Pride is the opposite of humility and it is warring with us daily. Three main things battle for our attention, according to the Bible, are “the lust of the eyes (or even covetousness), the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life….”
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father, but from the world. (1 John 2:16)
In order to experience God’s presence, you need to humble yourself, seek Him, focus on Him, and sacrifice and take the time to glean from God’s Word. How can we become Holy and pure and more Christ-like if we are not reading the Holy Word of God?
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God… (Hebrews 12:2)
There are so many things vying for our attention nowadays: TV, movies, music, social media and so forth. Some of the things of this world can try and steal our focus, which can inevitably disturb our purity of heart. We need to be jealous for the things of God-meaning; we need to be protective of our relationship with God, being watchful of the things that deter us from growing deeper in our faith. That is why God commands us to GUARD our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). Why? Because that indicates things will try to come in and take residence there.
What is trying to come into your heart and take residency? Did you know that Satan and other addictions or sins cannot enter or take root into your life without your permission?
God always allows an escape or exit route even while we are tempted, but ultimately it is our CHOICE (1 Corinthians 10:13). We have to choose to guard our hearts and to protect our purity. It is hard in this world because there is so much trying to steal our hearts, and so many distractions, but with the Lord’s help, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, amen.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
There is so much we can do in 24 hours, but we are limited. We need to use wisdom with our time, talent and treasure. We need to refocus and purify our hearts daily. We all get a little off course from time to time. We are human, so that is inevitable, but we need to really work at keeping ourselves meek, reverent of the Lord and purified from the things of the world.
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)
Just for a moment, I want you to picture a nice crystal-clear, fresh cup of drinking water. Then I want you to imagine putting food coloring in the cup of water. What happens? The color distorts the original glass of water and alters the appearance of the liquid in the glass. The food coloring has now contaminated the pure, original glass of drinking water. Just in the same way, PI Girls, when we read books we aren’t supposed to, or listen to vulgar music, or watch inappropriate shows or movies, we get contaminated and the purity of our hearts becomes tainted. Remember, whatever we allow into our hearts will either purify us or pollute us. It has been said, “Whatever you feed will grow.” Trippy to think about, isn’t it? So my question to you is: What are you feeding? Are you feeding your Spirit with the goodness of God’s Word or are you filling it with the junk food of the world? I pray you will be more selective about what you fill up your soul with.
“Whatever we allow into our hearts will either purify us or pollute us.” —Christi G.
If you notice, the music industry keeps pushing the shock value more and more with different artists becoming more and more risqué. It’s sad, because the top-selling albums and singles are the most distasteful at times or the most provocative. Not all secular music is bad, but if you have eyes to see, it’s no secret that the messages are getting darker and it’s desensitizing the culture. What is “desensitizing”? It’s when you become so numb or used to things that it doesn’t shock you anymore. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, it is to “make emotionally insensitive or callous; specifically: to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to stimuli that formerly induced it.”
This motive of desensitizing is not just in the music industry, but also in marketing because of the root of greed. People want to shock their audience for a bigger reaction and hence higher sales or more attention. It all comes down to the first Scripture I mentioned about the lusts of the world. Remember, lust isn’t always sexual; it can also be regarding coveting what others have.
We need to remain wholesome, pure and thankful for what we have, for the scriptures say that “Godliness with contentment is GREAT gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). Don’t envy the wicked when they seem to be prospering because the truth is we all have to give an account (Psalm 73). The best we can do is work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and pray for those around us. Amen?
It is unfortunate that this fallen world has so much brokenness, but we need to take responsibility for our own hearts and minds and watch what we allow in our spirits.
God tells us specifically to “watch and pray” and to “guard your heart.” Why? Because it is essentially your life. If you don’t guard your heart, you are not protecting your life. Yikes.
We are all susceptible to putting our guards down on our hearts, but that is why it is vital to stay plugged into the vine and the Word of God, your local church for fellowship and teaching, and also personal prayer and devotion. If you are well connected and well watered by the living Water, you will inevitably grow and your heart will remain soft.
1. To experience God’s presence more: Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will SEE God.”
Do you want to experience God’s presence? Seek Him with your whole, genuine heart. He doesn’t want a half heart or half a commitment; earnestly seek Him. He will honor that and will draw closer to you.
“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:17)
2. To become holy, we must have a pure heart: How can we be obedient if our hearts are hardened? We must increase in the spirit to overcome the flesh. This takes wisdom and maturity, but if we desire the things of God and His Word, it will strengthen the inner parts of our spirit and keep us connected to the true source of life (John 15).
3. To remain focused and have life: The wages of sin is death, but the Word of God brings life. If we stay focused on Jesus, we will be seeking what is pure, good, wholesome, righteous and true. This honors God when we desire His will and have a clean spirit, untainted by sin (Philippians 4:8).
4. We need to guard and protect our relationship with God: The enemy will use anything to distract us from living a holy, pure lifestyle. The Lord knows we will fall and make mistakes, but we are called to aim for perfection and to strive to be holy because we are children of the living God. If we are not different from the world, how can we be a light to a dark world? We need to be unique and set apart, just like the Lord Jesus tells us to be (Philippians 2:14-16).
PI Girls, how can I be praying for you? Does the article help regarding the importance of aiming for purity? Follow @puritymovement for encouragement on being pure in your heart. Hashtag #puritymovement. God bless you!