Psalm 119:9-11 ESV
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.”
Sexual purity seems to be a rare thing these days. And, I fully comprehend all the trappings that are out there, too. I may be 70, but I am not ignorant. I can see them on social media, on news sites, in grocery store checkout lines, in mall store windows, even on Christian sites and on Christian music channels on YouTube.
So, I am empathetic towards those who are easily tempted toward lust, if they are truly trying to remain pure, because of all the trappings that are being thrown in our faces on a daily basis if we are on the internet or out in public at all, or if we watch TV or view movies, which I don’t.
So, is it a lost cause, and thus we should just give up and give in? No! Absolutely not! In our day and time, is it even feasible that anyone can live a sexually moral life and have an undefiled marriage bed? YES! But only by guarding our hearts according to God’s word and by seeking God with our whole hearts.
We can’t play with this. We can’t tempt fate and expect not to get burned. We must gouge out that eye (figuratively speaking) and cut off that hand (not literally) which lead us into sin. In other words, we know our triggers. We know our weak areas. We must cut those things out of our lives!
We can’t pray, “Lord, help me not to sin” while we refuse to remove from our lives those things we know lead us into sin, or while we refuse to put up those necessary guards to keep our hearts from going astray. So many people continue the path of sexual addiction because they will not do what is necessary to stop the addiction. They, thus, are not serious about change.
And, if all we do is store up the word of God in our minds, but not in our hearts, then it isn’t going to help us one iota to not sin if our hearts and our minds are bent on sin. The way we store up the Word in our hearts is through applying it to our daily walks of obedient faith in our Lord Jesus.
Psalm 119:12-16 ESV
“Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.”
Again, if we want the Lord to teach us his statutes, we must be willing to do what he says to do. And, when he says, “Do this,” or “Forsake that,” we must obey him. If we don’t, we have just “shot ourselves in the foot.” In other words, we have foolishly, due to unwise decisions, sabotaged the very thing we said we wanted.
It is not enough just to declare the truths of God’s word with our lips. We are not to give lip service only, nor should we be proclaiming what we ourselves are not living. Certainly, I am not saying we must be perfect, but that we need to be walking the walk and not just talking it.
Yet, we do need to be those who are telling others about Jesus and about what he did for us on that cross 2000 years ago. We need to be telling others that he is not only the Son of God, but that he is God, and that he is our creator God. And, we need to tell them that, because he loves us, he willingly laid his life down for us to free us from our slavery to sin.
And, we need to be sharing with them that Jesus didn’t come just to forgive us our sins, or just so we could escape hell and go to heaven one day, but that he died to deliver us from our addiction to sin, and to give us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-26; Tit. 2:11-14).
And, to meditate on his precepts is not to do some kind of religious ritual where we focus on a few words and repeat them over and over, like some people are teaching. That isn’t helpful, and it could be harmful. We must be careful here about practicing meditation that may be linked to other religions and their practices. I would caution against contemplative prayer and yoga.
To meditate on the word of God is to read it, to study it, and to prayerfully consider what it is saying and how God would have you apply it to your life. And, then it is to be followed up with obedience to what you just learned. And, this is how we hide God’s word in our hearts, too, that we might not sin against him. And, that is because we are fixing our minds and our hearts and our actions on Jesus and on his will and purpose for our lives.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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