By Shawn McMullen
The path of purity is clearly marked, but it doesn’t get much traffic these days. That’s sad news because purity is important to God. The prophet Habakkuk said of the Lord, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13) and Jesus taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Paul understood the priority God places on purity and prayed that Christ’s followers would “be able to discern what is best” and remain “pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10). That’s why his ministerial advice to Timothy included the simple command, “Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22).
From another vantage point, the apostle warned God’s people to avoid (“put to death”) any trace of impurity in their lives (see Romans 6:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5).
Purity is beyond important; it’s essential. We must do everything we can—in the power of the Spirit—to walk the path of purity. But how?
David provides a clear plan in Psalm 119.
Look to God’s Word. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (v. 9). The Bible is our singular standard of purity. We read and study it to discern God’s will and to find the path of purity.
Ask for God’s help. “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands” (v. 10). Pray for purity. Ask God to help you as you seek to follow him.
Commit Scripture to memory. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (v. 11). Memorize passages that call us to purity and encourage us to resist temptation so they can be quickly brought to mind when needed.
Cultivate a spirit of reverence. “Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees” (v. 12). David’s reverence for God led him to seek God’s direction for his life. We must do the same.
Review God’s commands regularly. “With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth” (v. 13). The more familiar we become with the biblical principles that lead to purity, the more likely we will be to live by them.
Obey joyfully. “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches” (v. 14). Believing God’s way is the best way and trusting that he always has our best interests at heart enable us to obey his every command with joy and confidence.
Think deeply. “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways” (v. 15). The path of purity is paved with God’s wisdom. Meditating on God’s perfect precepts keeps our feet firmly on the path.
Live faithfully. “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (v. 16). As we walk the path of purity we must keep our eyes on the road ahead, following the markers that point the way. A lifelong habit of reading and applying God’s Word provides the direction we desperately need—and keeps us on the straight and narrow road.