Can’t you just picture this cherished scene with me? Do you have this moment rehearsed in your mind as you dream of the future?
As the beautiful bride gracefully strolls down the aisle, all who gaze upon her are captivated by her beauty, grace, radiance and … purity. Isn’t that what a bride represents – an absolute purity in it’s most delightful sense? I think, apart from worldly and tainted exceptions, a bride still does represent to us this symbol of purity we so admire in the face and presence of a bride.
In Scripture, we often read of God’s demands for purity in our lives, especially as women. (Titus 2:5, 1 Tim. 2:9, 5:6, 1 Peter 3:2) Purity should be an extensive part of our lives, especially as young women pursuing godliness; it should be something we pray for, study about, and strive to display. Our lives and hearts should be the aroma of the purity in Christ for all to inhale.
But, sadly, purity is a depressing subject for most (I think to everyone), because we all too clearly remember the bitter failings and mistakes we have made in regard to our purity. We have been tricked by our enemy to believe that we only get one chance – one try – at purity. (2 Cor. 11:3) And for all of us, we think we have lost our only chance of ever becoming that delicate and pure bride walking down the aisle to join hands with our prince. This deception leaves us incapacitate, dejected, and heartbroken, and always battling the suffocating guilt.
Dear sisters, God did not give us just one shot at purity; just like He goes not give us only one try at patience, tolerance, or unconditional love, etc. His grace covers all areas of our lives. And purity is not the exception. God has a great and vital lesson tucked away in His Word for us to discover – one that will give us amazing hope and assurance with this issue of our purity.
You might be surprised to know that the first mention of the word “pure” in the Bible was not in reference to a person’s morality; physical or emotional. It was in reference to gold. (Ex. 25:11) And not just any gold… gold for the Ark of the Covenant. God commands the children of Israel to take pure gold and build the Ark of the Covenant with this material.
Now, think with me for a moment about gold. Does gold start out pure on it’s own? Did it begin it’s existence in purity? … No. Gold must be refined.
When gold is discovered, it is usually sent to a mint to be purified. There are naturally impurities in it, like traces of silver or other minerals, that make the gold impure. So the gold goes through a refining stage, usually involving a heat source or furnace to rid the gold of it’s impurities.
Now think about our purity in relation to gold. When God reaches down in love and pulls us out of the mud, dusts us off and claims us as His own, we begin the purity process. God begins to use methods, heated trials and experiences, to purify us. The more we grow and mature in the Lord, the impurities of our lives come to the surface and are removed by our Heavenly Goldsmith.
Purity is not a one time opportunity that is either lost or gained – it is a venture and process that slowly manifests and cleanses. Purity is refining; God purges us from our impurities and disinfects us from harmful substances.
“Many will be purged, purified and refined…” Daniel 12:10
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
Your faith in God is more precious than gold refined – and if you are losing your faith in Him because of the shame in your purity, this is deadly to your faith. And it won’t result in praise, glory and honor either. Rejoice in your refinement.
If you leave with only one thought from my heart from this post, it is that God is still refining your purity. It is a process just like everything else in your life. Will you still make mistakes? Yes. Will you get back up and cling to God more than ever for His purifying presence in you? That’s up to you. Purity, like every other virtue, takes practice – and it takes patience.
But be confident (have faith) in your God. He is purifying you; He’s refining you through your circumstances, your hardships, your “fiery furnaces”, your devotion to Him, and your journey with Him hand-in-hand…
He is purifying you to be His bride; to walk down the aisle glowing in white garments to symbolize your purity, refining you for His purpose.
He is making you pure as gold.