Friday, March 8, 2013

Purity Ring

The word purity makes everyone feel alienated, doesn’t it?

Yes, we can relate it to objects, pure carrot juice. We can use that term for details about us like, pure Pinoy. But us, our insides, our intentions, our motivations, what our hands do, what our mouths say, what our minds think, pure? Eek. It’s hard to own the word purity.

You know why? It’s because we grew up in a world where purity isn’t taken seriously. We live in a world were impurity is not just tolerated, it is also allowed to grow. It’s like saying, “Oh, go on. Ruin your life, that’s okay. How else would you learn life's lessons? Nobody’s perfect.

The Bible tells us otherwise. It tells us to pursue purity. Intentionally pursue it. Isn’t that an indication that pursuing purity is not in vain? Pursuing purity brings people somewhere, it’s a quest that has a destination. People would say that nobody is perfect, and that somehow poses the question, “Why even try?” But what does the wisdom of this earth compare to the wisdom that is from heaven? The Bible knows better. God knows better. You would never ask a dog to do your homework, would you? Because the dog simply can’t do that. You’re stupid if you ask your dog to do something beyond its capabilities. Our God is wisdom Himself, so He definitely knows what He was saying when He commanded us to be holy. We can pursue holiness.
(Leviticus 11:44 | 1 Thessalonians 4:7)

After all, our Father is holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16)
That is why I was inspired to pursue purity in a more profound and more prayerful way.

Can only pursue purity with the guidance of the Holy Bible, with the guidance of my Holy Father.

I bought myself this purity ring last February 14. My mom wanted to sponsor me, so I let her give me money for this. I explained to her what this is all about.
I think that a purity ring is not about the design or the engraved letters on the ring. It is mostly about how much you want your heart to be after God’s own heart in every situation. I was thinking of this when I bought the ring, that’s why I chose a design like that, to remind me of this thought.. Hehe.

Pursuing purity is. Pursuing purity is more than just following the instructions written on the Bible. It's not being the perfect person in one millisecond. It is being distinct and going against the notion of complacency! Once you see the beauty of purity, you'll be 100% willing to embrace it, and to give up everything, even your selfish desires, to be soaked in it.

Pursuing purity is the desire to be one with God, to have the same heart as Him. When one pursues purity, he opens himself up to encounter God even more. The little hindrances in fully encountering Him are shook off one by one. Thus, Hebrews 12:14 says, "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. "

Moreover, purity paves the way for us to maximize ourselves in serving God. Impurity has its negative effects. It kills the enthusiasm in serving God. It fills you with guilt that you lose time to dream about your ministry. Somehow, allowing sin to eat you up gives the enemy a chance to pull down you morale and make you think that you weren't made to do great thing for the kingdom. The gist of this is beautifully crafted by Paul in his letter to Timothy, "Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." (2 Timothy 2:21) 

Pursuing purity is the purpose of our lives – to be Christ-like. It is the only way to truly live. I have pondered on life's purpose for years already. Realizing the power of God that could work in our lives, I can see no other alternative! We were made to enjoy purity, not to suffer from the consequences of our selfishness. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not endure the cross, the spits of mere men, the insults, just so you could have a license to dwell in wickedness and still have a chance to repent in the latter part of your life. He did that because He sincerely wants us to experience the fullness of living in purity.

Pursuing purity isn't living everyday with a heavy heart desperate for purity.. It gives you 24/7 joy, the most genuine and lasting joy! :)

To sum it all up:

1. Pursuing purity allows you to fully encounter God. (Hebrews 12:14)
2. Pursuing purity allows you to do all the things you were called to do. (2 Timothy 2:21)
3. Pursuing purity is the only way to truly live.

Purity is a lifestyle. It is not just about what we do with our hands. It has everything to do with what goes on in our minds, and in our hearts.

Purity in thought is as important as our deeds. Having impure thoughts may seem innocent, but it is as filthy and stinkin’ as our actions. Purity in our hearts is, I think, the most important. After all, it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Whatever that’s in it directs what goes on in our minds and what our hands do.
At first, I only thought of being pure in sexuality, because purity has always been related to the True Love Waits campaign. I only wanted to be pure in that aspect. However, after almost a month of meditating on it, I realize that purity is definitely more than that! We also see that in the Bible verse I am inspired with in this quest to purity.

Ephesians 5:3
I like how the ring encircles the word love. Indeed, I pursue purity out of love!

These are some of the things God inspires me to do:
(I don't want to impose these to everyone, I made this list as a reminder to myself, according to my convictions)
Purity in Relationships:
  •  Dress modestly.
  •  Avoid watching sexy stuff. (with kissing scenes or whatever, I wanna be like kids who are ilang when they see hot scenes. The world has made us a little too used to those.)
  •  Don’t be too friendly with guys, texting and stuff.  If for the purpose of sharing the gospel, I should know my limitations. Also, I would do this as way to respect the guy I’m praying for. ;)
  •  Don't be too comfortable with guys that you become obliviously physically intimate. You might not know the impact of "innocent" placement of hands. (haha the serious tone makes it sound creepy)
  •  Pray constantly for Jopel and I’s purity. Evaluate from time to time. Here’s a fun fact: every 7th of every month, we celebrate Purity Day where we assess our purity and pray for it. This started just yesterday! Haha exciting!
Purity in General:
  •  Avoid unhealthy media (books, TV shows, songs, movies, etc). When you take garbage into your system, you’d stink with garbage.
  •  Kill idle times – do something worthwhile every second!
  • Well that also means that I should not go to time-killing websites like 9gag. Don’t stay too long in Facebook, unless the reason I’m there is to be a blessing to others.
  •  Speaking of 9gag, avoid indulging in entertainment that sees women as objects, sees gaming as real life, offers faulty relationship advice, and mocks Christianity. So you realize that foreign animated series like Family Guy also have the same themes? Don't soak in them. ;)
  •  Don’t stay up late – it robs you of the energy to serve God and people the next day.
  •  Have a healthy diet. Having a healthy body is definitely a soldier's concern! ;) No to junk foods, soft drinks, sugary stuff. Well, okay.. You could eat those, but in moderation. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
  •  Consult everything – EVERYTHING – to God. You know how God appreciates it in the Old Testament.
  •  Be cautious of every word that comes out of the mouth.
  •  Look at everyone with God’s love.
  •  Grab every opportunity to be a blessing.
  •  Never ever miss a quiet time.
  •  Be prayerful in everything.
Excuse my annoying face.. Hahahaha what can I do?
I'm excited with this brand new stuff :)

I am making a blog post about this as a symbol of my covenant (with this ring). Yea, they're mere symbols of what God is inspiring me to do.  Writing these stuff doesn’t mean I am already perfect in doing them.. What’s the sense of having a purity ring if I claim to be pure already? Hahaha! I'm sure that this list will grow even longer as my Lord continues to open my eyes to the beauty of purity.

So far, I have been enjoying a great time being purified by my Refiner. After all, we can never make ourselves pure. Only by grace, by the strength and inspiration that comes from Him, could we ever become pure.

What do you do to allow God to purify you? :)

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