We can see the lack of self-control people have when we turn on our televisions. We see it in the ads, hear it on the radio and observe it through the behavior of people on the street.
The common theme that most of what we hear, see or read have provocative themes. These advocate things like promiscuity, adultery and a variety of other perversions that are morally wrong and run contrary to God's word.
People today seem to be inclined to having less self-control than previous generations. All we have to do is take a look at a Gallup poll conducted in 2013 to see the shift in the views of what has become morally acceptable.
The poll shows that 72 percent of adults age 18-34 believe sex between an unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable. The poll also indicates that older Americans are at least in part responsible for the rise in acceptance of premarital sex and various other moral issues.
If you are one of the rare people who believe polls like the one mentioned above shows our world is spinning faster into the moral abyss, you are not alone. One thing we should definitely be weary of is the trend to call what is immoral as moral. Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" (NKJV).
It's not easy living a righteous and virtuous lifestyle in the midst of a chaotic and sinful world, but it can be done. One of the keys, if you will, of living a lifestyle that's pleasing to God is to strive against sin, to walk above it. The way we do this is to keep our hearts and minds pure. The rest of this article will examine how to do just that.
One might ask, how can we possibly expect to keep our way pure and to cleanse ourselves when the whole world around us is in moral chaos? What hope is there? The good news is that it's possible to live in a way that is pleasing to God, but we must follow the examples of how to do so from the scriptures.
God's word shows us it's not impossible to live a righteous lifestyle. We can live a more holy life by sinning less and achieving more victory in our lives. We see how this can be done in Psalm 119:9-11:
"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments. Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You."
Did you get that? We cleanse our way by taking heed according to God's word. We seek him with our whole heart and hide his word within so we don't commit sins against God. When we take heed to his word, it means we seek to obey it, no matter what. When it reveals something to our hearts, then we must follow the wisdom that God has provided us through his word.
We hide God's word within ourselves by memorizing and allowing his promises to take root in our heart. Meditation comes in mighty handy when temptations come to draw us away from God. Meditation simply means to softly speak God's word over and over to ourselves. This draws us closer to him and helps us thwart the temptation or other sorrow that has come into our lives.
In order to live a pure life we must seek God with our all, our entire being. Living the Christian life takes full surrender to Christ, trusting he has our backs. We won't get the favorable results unless we put our full effort into living a life pleasing to God. Seeking God with our whole heart means to want him, desire him and need him above all other things we want, need or desire.
Chasing after God involves using our entire being, every part of us needs to be surrendered to his will. Matthew 22:37 says: "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'"
We can receive further instructions on how to keep our hearts pure in Psalm 119:15-16. It says, "I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word."
We see about meditation here, which was discussed a bit earlier of one way we can keep our hearts pure. We contemplate on God's word by looking at it intently and at length. We mull his promises over in our thoughts and ponder it. Our meditation on God's word is how that's done.
We also must delight ourselves in his word, despite what it reveals to our hearts. We must weigh out every word and consider it carefully so that we don't forget it. When God's word is hidden in our hearts we can therefore rest assuredly that God is with us. Hiding God's word in our hearts can bring rejoicing to our hearts if we will allow it to.
We know that God's word can uphold us and keep us living with a pure heart. It helps us to rise above sin and to defeat temptation. Remember that God is for you and nothing or anyone can be against you. It's God alone who keeps us from stumbling. If you heed the wisdom found in Psalm 119 you will be able to keep your heart pure.
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