While I basked in His presence, I saw the holiness and the excellency of His law. My desires changed direction as I suddenly yearned for a pure and blameless heart. Instead of bending the law (His word) to justify my actions or feelings, I beseeched God to align my heart with His truth.
As one develops a close relationship with the Lord, it’s natural to crave a crystal-clear mind and heart. The call to pursue a pure heart is an invitation to experience the joy of a real and pure relationship with God, to be free from the burden of sin, and to become the righteousness of God and all He created us to be. “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart. (Proverbs 17:3)”
How does God’s fire of love refine our hearts? How can we clothe ourselves with the robe of purity? Does it require dressing in a particular way, or possibly going through some ceremonial cleansing ritual, or saying a specific prayer? Do you think any of these actions will cleanse what is in our hearts? While we’re wondering how to sanitize ourselves from the stain of sin, God’s word says, “Turn to Me and repent!” Repentance (defined not as ceasing sinful bad habits, but as turning from sin to God), and confessing our sin to Him will be the first step of purification. God not only promises to always be faithful to forgive us, He also promises to be with us during the sometimes painful process of purification. This “spiritual bath” is necessary to cleanse us from the sin that is tearing us apart and making us feel far away from Him. It’s a turning from sin to trust Him through faith – completely and utterly surrendering to Him and inviting Him to come and live in every area of our hearts.
As Beth Moore said; “Repentance is not a punishment, it’s an invitation to restoration.”
God purifies us through suffering. All those calamities that you are facing right now may just be the fire which is cleansing you from something harmful.
Our struggles cultivate a disciplined heart in us. We have already acknowledged that God is LOVE and LIGHT. Does love mean “no harm”? Actually, true love sometimes allows short-term pain for the purpose of REDEMPTION. It’s all for our benefit and will help us grow and mature. God is like a good surgeon who wants the well-being of His patients. This brings a story to mind that my Mom once told me. I don’t remember it happening, because I was very young when it happened. One of my brothers, who was a teen at the time, fell from the roof of our house into the back yard. Thankfully, he suffered only a broken arm but he ended up having a full arm cast for several months. When it was time to remove the cast, to the surprise of everyone, his arm was completely twisted. What did the doctor do at that point? Yes, you guessed right! Ouch!!! He had to re-break part of the arm in order to make it heal properly. My poor brother had to endure short-term pain in order to have his arm restored to how God designed his body in the first place.
Similarly, God wants to redeem us from the brokenness of unrighteousness and restore us to live a full live. So he sent the ONE who was without any sin to pay the price for our sin. Jesus took our place on the cross, enduring cruel torment and a horrifying death to purify us, to make us right with God. My sin, your sin, everyone’s sin was nailed to the cross on the day Jesus was crucified. God is restoring our brokenness through Jesus’s death and crucifixion. That is why we celebrate Easter. Whoever accepts Him as their savior is not only forgiven, but receives the promise of His continual presence. Wherever they go, the Savior is there to guide them and lead them to a full and victorious life.
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, in that Him we might become the righteousness of God.”(2 Corinthians 5:21)”
“He Himself bore our sins, in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”(1 Peter 2:24)
We humans are in need of a power to shape and mold us each day. This process requires our willingness. I realized that I couldn’t do this by my own effort. So I asked God, just as David asked Him in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
God started molding my mind and cleansing my heart. He continues restoring me daily, encouraging me to rise above whatever circumstances might come my way. Sometimes matters and challenges come before me, causing me to turn the other way, away from the true light. WHY DO I DO THAT? Because our flesh is often at odds with the Spirit of God. St. Paul said, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Roman 7:15)
We frequently encounter situations where our words, actions, and tempers are suddenly doing what we don’t like to do. For instance, if someone treats you poorly, pointing a finger of criticism at something you have unintentionally done, your flesh may prompt you to treat them just as they have treated you. But the Spirit prompts you to do what is right – to forgive them and move on.
The word of God tells us that the sooner we bring our attention back to the One who is always with us and holding every moment of our lives, the sooner our minds and hearts will be filled with His thoughts and the light of His presence.
Zechariah 13:9 | NIV
I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’
Now that we know God uses heat to test our faith and refine us, we can daily come before Him with humble hearts, open minds and empty hands. His fire of love separates us from the impurities that ruin our value, allowing them to be burned out of us. Every time I face a test of faith, I tremble and fear overwhelms me. What If I fail the test? Yet, the REFINER will never let the fire consume me. On the contrary, this refining fire gives me HOPE and restoration. It is taking place in me as I write these words. I look back on my life and see how God has changed me from within. My life took a turn for the better just by staying close to Him. I cannot wait to see what He has in store for me in the future. The Lord teaches me to look at everything and everyone with a humble perspective and a non-judgmental heart. It’s my responsibility to practice His teaching. Scriptures say, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Prob 22:4)
These verses tell the importance of a humble life. Basically, if we want to have God’s blessings in our lives and have an authentic and pure relationship with Him, we must allow Him to cleanse our hearts and our thoughts by reading His word, focusing on Him and serving Him with clean hands. Obviously we cannot earn it by our own effort. It takes a vast amount of wisdom and strength to have success. Thankfully we do not do it alone. The Lord sent His Holy Spirit to help us. His Spirit rests on those who believe in Him and trust Him.
Some people might say they believe in Him, going to church every week, and reading His word, but if they don’t follow His teaching by actually living it, the chances of them having a PURE HEART will be very slim. Sadly, they will be on their own. As a result, they may face all kinds of disappointments and calamities.
Before I say goodbye to you for now, allow me to pray for all of us through this Scripture, “O God, create in us a pure heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within us. Protect us from people or situations that cause us to sin. No worldly power can make us pure. Only Your fire of love can purify our hearts. In Jesus name, Amen!”
“If you walk in the light, as He is in the light, you have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies you from all sin.” ( 1 John 1:7)
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