Pursuing purity is a reality for every believer in Christ—even those who struggle with sexual addiction and lust. What seems impossible with man is possible with God. God is able to transform us through the renewing of our mind and lives.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Purity is an attitude of the heart that will result in a lifestyle change.’One day at a time‘ is the expression used in Alcoholics Anonymous. You must make an active decision every day to commit yourself to the pursuit of purity, but keeping yourself pure requires a daily plan.
Essential to your plan is another heart attitude—humility. Humility is best reflected in the example Christ set for us to follow. In Philippians 2:3-8, Paul reminds us of the importance of focusing on the needs of others, not just on our own, which so characterizes our selfish nature. Humility reminds us daily that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Pride is the opposite of humility—an attitude that says I can do this myself without God. Just remember where that pride attitude got you!
So the commitment to be morally pure is a daily one where you build new patterns of thinking and behaving motivated by a change in heart. Peter put it this way in 2 Peter 1:5-8:
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Job made a covenant with his eyes to not look lustfully on a woman. Learning to turn away from lustful thoughts requires the daily discipline of replacing old thoughts and sinful patterns with new and God honoring ones. In your daily plan be sure to include reading and studying God’s word. Find a bible study group or take a class with others. Learning the scriptures and encouraging one another makes studying God’s word enjoyable and enriching. Doing this also helps you build relationships where you can develop accountability and fellowship.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word.” (Psalm 119:9)
Another part of your daily plan in the pursuit of purity is to have a means of confession or honest discussion about your thought life. When we admit to a fellow brother in the battle any thoughts that bother us, the thoughts lose their power. Having a brother pray with you can really encourage you. James 5:16 is a reminder of the power of confession; and Hebrews 10:24-25 exhorts us to consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.
Having another person to share with also helps you overcome the deceitfulness of your own heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Asking someone to mentor you in the spiritual disciplines can really be helpful. Look for people who have walked with the Lord and have a mature walk with God. Ask your Pastor for guidance in finding someone to mentor or sponsor you. Sponsors, like mentors, can guide and coach you in the recovery process. A spiritual mentor may not have specific knowledge about addiction, but would bring the wisdom and knowledge that comes with walking in relationship with God. You need both!
In closing, as you seek God in pursuit of purity, He will enable you to develop the disciplines that have been lacking in your life. Ask Him to give you a heart inclined towards purity. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God“.
If you’re needing additional help resources for your recovery, or know someone who does, we can help! Call us at 800-NEW-LIFE (639- 5433) to get connected with a Sustained Victory coaching group, or to find a Christian counselor or Life Recovery Group in your area.