Timothy W. Brophy
What if I told you that the secret to maintaining sexual purity was revealed somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 years ago? Although lust may seem like a modern issue, the pathway to sexual purity was shown long ago in Psalm 119.
New is Always Better
We live in culture where new is always better. Just look at the music industry: artists and producers are constantly releasing new music to satisfy the demands of the masses. People might listen to an album a few times before moving on to something new. Our culture has a clear preference for the newest music, movie, smart phone, article, and so on. It seems that many have disregarded the significance of the old.
Why look to an ancient poem for the secret to maintaining sexual purity when new self-help articles are being published every day? Isn’t this a modern issue? How could something written so long ago still be relevant today?
First, Psalm 119 is still relevant because it is the inspired word of God. Second, it’s still relevant because it asks the same question that so many people are asking today: “How can a young man keep his way pure?” (Psalm 119:9). It seems that young people have always faced challenges to pure living. However, purity is sought by men and women, young and old. The Psalm writer (Psalmist) answered this extremely important question thousands of years ago, and the answer can still set us free today.
Let’s find out how.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and the most elaborate Psalm from a literary point of view. It is the prayer of an unknown poet who delights in the perfect law of God.
In verses 9-11, the Psalmist says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
The Psalmist provides two answers for sexual purity. The first answer is to guard your life with Scripture and the second is to seek God.
So, what does that mean?
How to Guard
It is essential that we guard our lives with the word of God. Our culture tells us that we don’t need to guard our way. After all, why would we place any limits on our passions? It’s all about doing what we want in life, not what some ancient book tells us to do.
We live in a culture of carelessness, where self-destructive lifestyles are the norm. Anything goes, no matter the consequences.
There are 68 million pornographic searches on the internet every day, and porn fuels sex trafficking. People view porn when they are not guarding their way with the Word of God. As a result, other human beings are sold into sex slavery. This is not the way that God intended us to live. We need to guard our lives by obeying God’s commandments in the Bible.
A good place to start is following Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 22:37-39, which says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In order to guard our way, we need to follow God’s law, which requires loving God and others.
Pursuing this command, daily, will bring freedom.
Who to Seek
Next, it is of the utmost importance that we seek God with our whole hearts. Our culture tells us to seek everything except God. We should seek pleasure, success, or happiness. We are surrounded by lost souls who spend their whole lives seeking. They seek and never find, filling every second with useless distractions to help them ignore the emptiness inside. A couple clicks on the internet is all it takes and…instant gratification! However, this way of life will never be enough.
Addicts return to porn over and over again, because it can never fill their desire for love. All their seeking is in vain, because they are seeking the wrong things. We will only be truly satisfied when we seek God with our whole hearts. God is everything that we need in order to be truly joyful and content.
It is not enough to merely learn about God in church.
In fact, it’s entirely possible to have a seminary degree and not know God. We must seek Him desperately with our whole hearts, as if our lives depended on it (which is the case). We can do this by being open and vulnerable before Him in prayer.
This can happen by praising Him in worship and by keeping His commandments to love God and others.
We will only be able to maintain sexual purity when we seek God with our whole hearts.
People have been looking for the secret to maintaining purity for thousands of years. This is because maintaining purity is no easy task. In fact, it’s impossible without God’s help.
Our culture tells us that we don’t need to guard or restrict our lives in any way. It also tells us to seek all the wrong things. However, we will only be able to maintain sexual purity when we guard our lives according to God’s word and seek Him with our whole hearts.
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Timothy W. Brophy is an English major at Liberty University. He enjoys fixing things and currently works with his grandfather as a contractor. Tim is passionate about loving Jesus, reading, and being a good son, brother, and boyfriend. He loves spending his summers hiking and kayaking.