How can a young man keep his ways pure? In our society today there are more opportunities for impurity than one could begin to count. According to Jesus, we don’t have to act for it to be sin, but even to think about impure things is also sin. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” [Matthew 5:27-28] He states not only is the act wrong, but the intention is also wrong. “Jesus is not condemning natural interest in the opposite sex or even healthy sexual desire, but the deliberate and repeated filling of one’s mind with fantasies that would be evil if acted out.” [NIV commentary]
So what are we to do? We are to choose carefully the things we meditate on day and night. The books we read, the movies we see, the songs we listen to, and the environments we place ourselves in all have a direct impact on what we think about. Have you ever seen a movie and then found yourself thinking about it later that same week? Have you had a song “stuck in your head” as the saying goes, and you can’t seem to stop singing it over and over in your mind? We must be careful in regard to what we pour into our minds. For those who are parents, we must be careful about what we allow our children to put into their minds. There is no such thing as a harmless movie or book or song. Words become thoughts and thoughts become actions.
The question above was one presented by God in His Word. One of the great things about God is He doesn’t ask a questions without providing an answer. If you read the question in Psalm 119:9, you don’t have to go far to find the answer…it is in the same verse: “By living according to Your Word.” Then further down God goes on to explain how to use the Word to avoid impurity. “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” [vs. 11] “I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.” [vs. 16]
In just 8 verses God presents us with a question and gives us a detailed answer. We are to hide the Word of God in our hearts, so we will have a reference point with each challenge the enemy throws at us.
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us the Lord will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and He will provide us a way out of temptation that comes our way. When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, Christ used the Word of God to beat Satan at his game [Matthew 4]. As we face temptation, we too are to use the Word of God to beat Satan at his game; however, you can’t use what you don’t have. You may not always have a Bible handy to look up a verse to combat the enemy. This is why we are told by the Lord to hid His Word in our heart.
The way to avoid impurity is by knowing the Word of God. To those of you who are parents, I challenge you to live this out before your children. The enemy WILL come knocking at their door, sooner than you expect, and the only way they will be prepared is if you have taught them and live out the example before them. Let Psalm 119:16 be our battle cry… “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”