“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.” Psalm 119:9
The concept of personal purity seems antiquated in our society. Vulgarity is now normal and lewd behavior is mainstream. Anyone who tries to live an unsullied and undiluted Christian life is a target for ridicule. Scripture, however, is just as true now as it was in the psalmist’s day. The evil around us has not outgrown God’s ability to overcome it. The second stanza of Psalm 119 lays out three ways to pursue personal purity.
First and foremost we need to prioritize our relationship with God (v10). The psalmist reiterates the importance of seeking God with his whole heart (v2). Genuine Christianity isn’t a checklist of do’s and don’ts; it’s maintaining a healthy personal relationship with the Lord. And we’re less likely to wander when our heart’s desire is to know Him better each day.
The next step is to internalize God’s Word (v11). The Bible becomes a part of us through meditation and consideration (v15). Meditating on Scripture is simply giving careful thought to what a passage means. To whom was it originally written and what was the author’s intent? Then we carefully consider how to apply that truth in our own lives. Ask, “Lord, how am I failing to follow you in this area?”
Finally, we need to verbalize God’s Word (v13). In other words, we should talk about what we’re learning from the Bible. Although our relationship with the Lord is personal, it’s not meant to be private. Do you have at least one friend with whom you can discuss spiritual things? If your spouse is a believer, how often do you talk about how God is working in your individual lives?
As a result, we delight in reading the Bible (v16) and joyfully do what it says to do (v14). We cannot muster up joy and delight; they are byproducts of “living according to [God’s] Word.” So, read today’s passage again. Ask God to show you which areas of your life have gotten sullied in worldliness. Are you willing to give up what He reveals in the pursuit of personal purity?