It was my turn to wash the clothes. Fun! Like most households, I began separating the clothes into different piles, darks from the lights. Unlike other loads before, there was a significant amount of whites to wash. As I looked at the white socks with dirty grey soles and white t-shirts with noticeable deodorant marks, a regular wash wouldn’t suffice; it would only lighten the stains. It was time to break out the heavy-duty power cleaner – BLEACH.
For reference, I am not the most careful guy. I frequently misplace my belongings and do not always pay attention to details when I should. Sometimes I wonder where I placed my brain! Ok, back to the laundry…
I started the load with the whites first and poured a small amount of bleach into the cup. But, as I tip the cup, a few drops spill onto the washer; oh no! Thankfully, I rush over and clean it up immediately. I quickly put the bleach away and let the washer machine run through its cycle. Whew, that was close!
As the wash finishes, I place the newly brightened and whitened clothes in the dryer and start another load. Success!
Or so I thought…
If you haven’t caught it yet, I’ll fill you in. First, I forgot to wash my hands. Since I touched the bleach when it spilled, it was still on my fingers when I grabbed the next load of darker colors. Second, I cleaned up the mess but did not sanitize where the bleach had spilled. Unfortunately, I had placed a few articles of darker clothing on that very place to ‘spot clean’ more stubborn stains. Go figure.
It wasn’t until Sunday morning, before I was getting ready to preach, that I noticed bleach stains on a few pieces of clothing. Sadly, it had to be my new shirt (I was going to wear it that morning!) and I only got to wear it once! I feel worse for Valerie since the bleach episode affected one of her favorite dresses. So let’s say I was in trouble and was banned from using bleach. Too bad I didn’t get out of doing laundry forever!
I bring up this incident involving bleach because of the power behind what it does. Unlike regular detergent that preserves most of its color in a wash, bleach has the ability to change the clothes and make them colorless. How? It is the high concentration of chlorine that ‘bleaches’ the clothes… whether you wanted to or not.
As I was praying through the blog, the word ‘purity’ kept coming to mind. It wasn’t by accident that I sensed an attack on the younger generation regarding lust earlier in the week. We changed our regular programming and spent time praying to fight off these attacks that the enemy was bringing against us. The Lord has called us to take a stand and guard our eyes and hearts in our sexualized and pervasive culture.
There’s a call to purity related to the potency of bleach that I do not want you to miss. Keep reading!
PURITY HAS POTENCY
As mentioned with the bleach, its power resides in its concentration. If the bleach was watered down, it would not be as effective in whitening the clothes. Similarly, if we concentrate our focus on the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly, we experience the full power of Christ within us. Praise God!
Jesus spoke about purity in His famous sermon on the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8). Foremost, no one can have a pure heart in their own strength – the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). This is why we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us in all truth (John 16:13) and for God to search our hearts (Psalm 139:23). Solely with the Lord, a purity of heart is possible.
The definition of pure means to ‘not (be) mixed with any other substance’. There is nothing that dilutes it, and as a result, its power resides in its purity.
With that said, if your heart is pure, you will see God. Think about what that means for you:
- If your motives are right, you will see God move
- If you are authentic in your faith, you will experience God’s various blessings
- If distractions do not dilute you, you will see what God has for you next
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). It’s not that God cannot be found – He will meet us as we continue to run the race with an unadulterated, authentic, and pure heart.
As mentioned above, bleach can take away stubborn stains, even washing out the colors in the clothing. Thus, the cleansing power is to make the clothes freshened up and stained-free.
I cannot help but think through God’s cleansing power for what He did for us on the cross. Hallelujah! When people think of purity, it is common to think of remaining sexually pure. Being free from impurity is drastically important yet, at the same time, terribly challenging in our digital era. With the effects of social media, each person sees about 6,000 – 10,000 ads every single day. Crazy, isn’t it? When it comes to advertising and marketing oneself, there’s an adage that the world still follows – sex sells.
Psalm 119:9 gives us a solution to lust and impurity all around us, “How can a young person keep themselves pure? By guarding it according to your Word.”
The Word of God protects us from the influence of what we see – “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2:16) If one commits to the reading of the Word, they are not allowing themselves to be stained from the world. The wonder of the Holy Scriptures is that, as we read it, the Word reads us! Meaning, as we soak in God’s Word, the Spirit of God convicts us in what we have been looking at; the eyes are the ‘windows to the soul’ otherwise known as ‘the lamp to the body’ (Matthew 6;22-24). The Holy Spirit brings transformation, so we do not desire the cravings of lust and sexual sin.
Thankfully we have a God of grace who takes away the stain of our sin and makes us white as snow! His grace is sufficient to cleanse us. Yet He has given us the Holy Spirit to remain pure and to draw from His power for daily living.
There is power in purity! We can draw on that strength of Christ when we are weak and have faith when we feel like giving up. We can rejoice that we have the privilege of honoring God in purity of heart, mind, and body. He delights when we do what is right and walk in obedience. “For it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:16) I hope that this blog reassures you of your standing with God – cleansed by the blood of Jesus. My prayer is that you draw near to the Lord, not allowing any pollutants or impurities to affect your walk in Christ. He wants ALL of you! The true, unwavering, and authentic self chasing after God – this is purity. This is living a Spirit-filled life in everyday life.
Have a blessed week!