You don’t have to be a rocket engineer (changing-up the cliché) to know that men, in general, struggle with purity. Each may struggle in different ways or to different degrees, but these temptations are common to men. And yes, I’ve had my own challenges, but I’ve also learned to turn toward God’s resources—the Spirit and the Word. Don’t underestimate the resources God so graciously supplies.
As powerful as the Scriptures are, they have little impact if we don’t follow them. The Bible states that we can “hear” the Word and yet be deceived if we don’t obey it. Interestingly, as I’ve read the Bible, I’ve learned that we’re never bullet-proof to temptation. That may be why God warns us to confess, watch, pray, flee, avoid, hide from, escape, armor up, etc. Next steps or simultaneous steps: Pursue better things, seek better companions, and think Godly thoughts. God knows our human nature better than we do. He knows that behavior reinforces behavior—and our thoughts reignite those addictive habits. Do you know why some of us aren’t drug addicts or don’t think about smoking dope? We’ve never tried it. The door of pride may be pushing open on you now, but don’t let it and don’t forget: you and I are weak. God is very wise to keep us from engaging in those destructive practices. Like a raging rapid, they will carry us to a violent end.
So we struggle because we’ve “tried” something (and liked it), but how do we stop? The book of Romans speaks of the “renewing of the mind.” God renews our minds—and consequently our behaviors—through His Spirit and the Word. Hence the reason to meditate on God’s Word. Like a fresh spring of water which floods our stagnant minds, it flushes away the grime and grit of worldly debris. Scripture transforms our old thoughts and habits, supplying us better cravings, straighter paths to follow and arresting conviction. Here are a few of my favorite scriptures related to holiness and purity:
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. Job 31:1
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Psalm 51:10-13
1 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8: 12-16
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:9-10
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
I hope these verses are helpful, but we must all make them our own. Feel free to add some that speak to you.