Each day during morning nap time I snuggled up on the couch with my Kindle and dove into Priscilla Shirer’s book Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. Each chapter opened my eyes to a new topic to pray about; and my prayer life was improving drastically as I implemented her strategies. But then I reached chapter 7 and almost skipped it.
The topic? Your Purity.
At the time I held a very narrow definition of purity and thought, “I don’t struggle with lust or any other type of sexual impurity so I can probably skip this chapter.” But since the first 6 chapters were so good, I decided to read the opening paragraph just to see what it said.
And I am glad I did because not once did she mention sexual impurity in the opening paragraphs. The impurity Priscilla Shirer addressed is the same impurity we have been discussing for the past couple of weeks, our sinful nature. (If you missed any of the holiness posts, catch up here.)
Jesus told his disciples: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” Matthew 15:19 (ESV).
Priscilla Shirer put it in more relatable terms for me saying, impurity is “The moral comprise. The unhealthy habit. The enticing addiction. The allure toward sexual impurity.”
Essentially, our heart is wicked. How the wickedness manifests itself may look a different for each person, but we all need to actively fight against it.
One of the best ways to fight impurity is memorizing scripture. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (NKJV)
When we fight things that oppose God (things that make us impure), we need God’s help. God can help us take our impure thoughts captive and replace them with His truth. But first, we need to know His truth—it needs to be planted like seeds in our hearts.
Memory Verses to Conquer Impurity
*All verses are in the ESV
1. Romans 6:12-14
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
2. 1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
3. Luke 22:31-32
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
4. Psalm 73:26
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
5. Philippians 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
6. John 10:10
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
7. Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
8. Colossians 3:2
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
If you are like me and have a hard time memorizing scripture, then I hope you will find encouragement in this statement from Beth Moore:
Spending time meditating on, praying over and attempting to memorize God’s word brings us in line with the Spirit. And Jesus promises; “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 ESV
In our battle against impurity, let us call on the power of the Holy Spirit to prompt us when we need redirection, and to remind us of the truth we planted in our hearts.