What About Shame? — Continued... Barry's Video Blog...
eBooks click here
Purity Happens Because of
Being Close to God!
Don't wait to draw near to God until
after you think you are pure enough.
Depend on God to do that for you!
The Need for Purity
Practical purity is paramount. If you have the right perspective about the holiness of God, initial thoughts of actually drawing near to Him might be frightening to you.
God is transcendently awesome, adequate, holy, pure, completely good. We are not.
Drawing near to God requires that we experience a practical purity that, quite frankly, is beyond the experience of most Christians: "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully." (Psalm 24:3,4).
It is vital that we stop thinking about purity before God in human terms. We have to see purity from God’s perspective.
Righteous Enough for Coming to God
Don't look at what you do or don't do and evaluate if you are pure enough to come to God. You are evaluating your righteousness based on what the Bible calls "works" and not grace.
Your basis for drawing near to God can't be what you do or don't do. All your righteousness on that level has to come from God—what He has done for you on the inside and will do for you on the outside because of your drawing near.
Don't think that you have to come to the place where you believe you are perfect before you draw near to God! If you think you do, then you need to take assertive steps to direct your faith to rest on God as your righteousness and perfection—and not on yourself.
Purify yourself by assertively directing your heart away from trusting your performance as your reason to feel righteous enough to come before God. Use thanks and praise in order to direct your heart away from trusting yourself. Get your heart to hear that you can trust God's provision!
Trust God to have provided what you need as your righteousness on the inside. Trust Him to never stop providing what you need for righteousness on the outside. Then draw near with confidence and without hesitation!
Purity in Our Behavior
Purity becomes practical when we meet our need for the presence of God. Personal purity in our outward behavior is the result of continually quenching our thirsty desires with God and not by earthly means.
It is a continuous cycle. The more you draw near and quench your thirst with God the more you will experience purity. The more you experience purity the more you will feel the freedom you need to keep on staying in His "holy place" and drinking His presence.
Which comes first? Do you avoid all sin and then draw near? On a practical level it doesn't work that way.
Before the temple was consecrated, the presence of the Lord there wasn’t very strong. It wasn’t different from any other place. But after it was "set apart" to the Lord, it was often true that the presence of God was intense. The same has to be done with us. We too have to be "set apart" for the Lord.
Heart-training is powerful for helping you to set yourself apart for the Lord. Repentance so as to direct your heart toward God—before temptation comes—is vital for helping you with greater purity in your behavior.
Don't think of purity as a goal. Think of purity as a result of continually training your heart about being able to stay close to God.
If you want "clean hands and a pure heart," then you have to humble yourself enough to trust the presence of God to draw near to you washing your body and cleansing your heart. Look at what happens because of your drawing near to God: "let us draw near...in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:22). The closer you get the more He washes you. Get your heart to trust God to do that.
Learn to trust God as your righteousness—inside and out!
Don’t wait to enter the throne room until you find personal purity. It won’t happen that way. Our proneness toward sin is driven by a tension created by our unmet need for the nearness of God. Insecurity resulting from our unmet need drives us to many unwanted and damaging behaviors, reactions, and attitudes.
Learn to keep feeding yourself with God's presence and the insecurity that drives you to impurity won't be an issue!
Trust the Holy Spirit, that God gives by grace, as your goodness, righteousness, purity. Then, as you draw near, reassure yourself with the presence of God. We can’t wait to draw near. We desperately need Him to fill our desires. Thrill your heart about the intensity of each of God’s attributes being radiated upon you. Let all of who God is soothe and reassure you. Otherwise you will be pushed right back into sin by your need to find something else to soothe your insecurities.
Purity that is practical, has far more to do with our dependence on the closeness of God as what soothes and reassures us, than whether we do or don’t do certain activities.
If you want greater purity before God, get your heart to believe you have reason to love and believe you can quench your thirst with God. You can draw near to God without fear. You can drop your guard and let God feed you with a river of His presence.
Love that God draws near to you when you draw near to Him. Love that as He draws near you are able to enjoy His presence as your refuge and strength. Soothe yourself in His love, His power, His wisdom, His creativity. Think about being inside His presence. Let His goodness, His sovereignty, His gentleness, His being king. Let the intense closeness of who He is be your strength, your glory. Praise Him who is close. Praise all the attributes of His name.
Don’t wait to come before God until you think you are good enough. If you think that way, you will only be trusting yourself, not God. The Bible warns against that.
Get your heart to trust that by His grace He will wash you clean. The Bible says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8).
Rejoice in the wonderful truth that God washes you as you draw near to Him.
"Cleanse yourself" by entering the throne room while trusting the radiance from God to wash you holy—even your body. Put your faith in the power of God to wash you and be your righteousness!
Wash yourself in God by trusting His forgiveness and cleansing is swirling all around you. When you are in the throne room, that is what is happening! Rejoice in these things until your heart rests into believing it strongly and you find greater freedom to receive His presence more freely and abundantly.
If you are a Christian, you are clean on the inside. It is right for you to enter the throne room! But drop your guard and let Him give you His presence as a garment of holiness for your body also.
The Bible says, "...lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light...put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Rom. 13:12,14). My point is that by drawing near in order to put on and wear God's presence, you will be feeding yourself with God and "won't be making provision for the flesh."
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
What About Shame? — Continued...
(C) Barry Hall 1999
Information on this site may be reproduced for personal or for instructional purposes if it is not being used for resale. If a page is distributed for instructional purposes, the web address must be included. Printed quotes must include the authors name and the web address. Quotes for use in publications intended for resale need the written permission of the author. All rights reserved.
Scriptures are taken from the updated NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1988, The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Other scriptures are from the New International Version or Amplified Bible as noted.
Bold emphasis in the scriptures quoted here has been added by the author of this site.