Proverbs 22:3-5 NIV
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Humility is the fear of the Lord;
its wages are riches and honor and life.
In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.
Preserve Your Lives
I think that one of the biggest reasons that people who claim to be Christians fall into sin, or the same sins over and over again, is because they are not proactive (preemptive) about dealing with sin. They just wait until a situation arises and then they react to the situation, usually in the flesh.
They don’t identify their triggers or the things that typically lead them into sin. And, they have no plan of action for removing these obstacles or for how to deal with them when they arise. They think they will be able to handle it, even though history has proven otherwise. So, they don’t see the danger ahead, and typically they get blindsighted, because they were unprepared.
Because they are not wise and discerning about potential dangers lying ahead, they get trapped in snares, and they fall into pits regularly and consistently. And, then they wonder why they can’t get victory over their sin. They may even get discouraged about it, or feel that God is just not helping them, or that he is not listening to their cries for mercy.
But, those who are prudent (sensible, careful) will see danger ahead and will take refuge in the Lord and in His Word. They will not be ignorant about their own weaknesses, but they will identify the areas of their lives where they are most vulnerable, and they will take the necessary action to throw off all hindrances to their walks of faith and everything which binds them.
They will not tempt fate. They will not allow for anything in their lives which has the potential to bring them down. They will even be willing to be thought odd, or an “old fogie,” in order to persevere purity and faithfulness in their lives. And, thus, they will walk in the fear of the Lord, take his Word seriously, and show God honor, value, respect, submission and obedience by how they live their lives day in and day out.
Proverbs 22:11-12, 14 NIV
One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the king for a friend.
The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.
Walk in Purity
I will say this many times, but words are just words if they are not followed with action. Someone may say that he loves (desires, longs for) purity in his life, but his actions speak louder than words. For our actions truly speak to what we really long for and desire. For, if we knowingly and willingly continue in impurity, even though we have the knowledge of how to live holy and pure lives, it says that we don’t really love (desire) purity, but impurity.
So, to love purity or to love a pure heart one has to love God and obey his instructions to us, his church. Our declarations of love for purity must be preceded with action that supports those statements, in other words. For, we can claim what our desires are, but if our claims are not based in truth, they don’t really “hold water.” It is a lot like telling someone you love him or her and then treating that person the opposite of love.
For, if we are truly pure in heart, we are honest, trustworthy, sincere, loving and kind, and we do not use deception or trickery, nor do we treat people one way to their faces and then despise them behind their backs. We are who we are no matter who we are with, and what we are behind closed doors is what we are out in the open, too.
Those who live in impurity do so because that is what their hearts desire. It doesn’t matter if the “adulterous woman” is a figment of the imagination, or male, or pornography, or sexually seductive movies, pictures or TV shows, or a person with whom you work, or someone walking down the street, or yourself or whatever. If you live in lust you live in adultery (impurity).
So, love God, love others, and walk in purity, not in impurity, and let your words and your actions match each other. Be faithful in all that you do. Don’t make lying your practice. Don’t willfully deceive others to cover up sin or for your own advantage. And, don’t let the lust of the flesh be what drives you and fulfills you, but let love for God and others be what drives you and fulfills you, instead.
Proverbs 22:17-21 NIV
Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,
for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
and have all of them ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.
Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
sayings of counsel and knowledge,
teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
so that you bring back truthful reports
to those you serve?
“Pay attention!” This is so critical!! So many people fall into traps because they don’t pay attention to what is going on all around them, so they walk into situations with blinders on. They don’t really heed the Words of God, but they read them for intellectual stimulation, or because it is a religious practice, or in order to appear spiritual to others, but then they walk away and forget what they looked like in the mirror (See: Jas. 1).
Not only do we need to have our minds, hearts and eyes alert to possible pitfalls, but we need to then turn from those to God to follow Him in his ways and in his truth. We need to not just read the Word of God, but we need to apply its truths to our daily lives by doing what it says.
It is a must that we hide God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him, but the way in which we do this is not through scripture memory, per se, but through obedience. For, we can know the scriptures but still walk in disobedience to God, because we did not hide the Word in our hearts but only in our heads. Many people have a lot of knowledge of scripture, but it often seems as though few consistently apply what they know to their daily lives.
But, hiding God’s Word in our hearts does not mean we don’t share those words with others. We do! For, if truly they are hidden in our hearts, and not just in our heads, then they will be what comes out through our lips, too. God’s truths, as well, will be uppermost in our minds, in our attitudes and influencing our actions, and they will be what comes to mind in our conversations with others, as well.
Hate Lies: Love Truth
Have you ever noticed how much scripture speaks to this subject of lies and truth? God hates lies! Because I love what God loves, and I hate what he hates, I also hate lies. But, I also hate being lied to, for that speaks volumes to me about how someone feels about me if that person makes lying to me his or her practice. It says “hate,” not “love.” It says “betrayal,” not “faithfulness.” And, if in a marriage relationship, it speaks of adultery, too.
So, be honest. Tell the truth. Speak the truth in love, though, not in hatred or malice. Don’t withhold from anyone what is their right to know. Confess wrongdoing to those you have wronged, but do so wisely and lovingly. Don’t lie to people, especially to cover up evil you are doing behind closed doors. Don’t mislead people, either, for that is the same as a lie. If you understand the question, don’t skirt around it, either, to avoid telling the truth.
Basically, follow the Lord Jesus with your life in full surrender to him and to his will for your life, and by his grace, and in his power and strength, show integrity in all that you do and are and say. For, as followers of Jesus Christ, Jesus died so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He set us free from our slavery (addictions) to sin, so that we might walk in purity, in love, in faithfulness, and in holiness the rest of our days – all glory to God!
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!
Saturday, September 1, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for the freedom to walk in purity and to be set free from addiction to impurity. Amen!