Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Purity + Peace: WEEK FOUR


Tonight is our fourth week on the Purity + Peace journey.

Week one, we discussed the definition of purity and biblical references of how to keep our mind, body and spirit pure.

Week two, we discussed how our bodies are a temple and compared our physical bodies to the tabernacle and Solomon's temple in the Old Testament. The similarities were uncanny, and we learned that God's presence lives in us the same way it dwelt in the tabernacle/temple. We also studied how the Israelites defiled the temple and noted the consequences of their actions; and discussed ways we currently defile our temples: mind, body and spirit, acknowledging the consequences of doing so.

Week three, we discussed covenants and the importance of covenants to the Lord. We read up on good and bad covenants people in the Bible made with the Lord and the results of those covenants. We also discussed the possibility of renewing our purity covenant with the Lord, acknowledging the seriousness of vows and taking this step, but trust God's purpose in bringing us to this new place of reconciliation. We lastly learned how to renounce soul ties.

Week four, this week (tonight), we begin studying Peace.

R E F L E C T I O N S 

In the first half of our study, it has become evident that we need to implement change and a solid plan in order to stay and remain pure. This change comes with chaos. Any time we implement change in our lives, it brings a sort of chaos because we are doing something we are not used to. Our performance immediately decreases. This is what makes change hard to cope with. Many of us felt the pull and strain of learning God's standards of purity because we have never lived according to this way. Others felt the tug of conviction because we knew better and did things our way, anyway. Learning these new ideas have brought feelings of guilt and shame for some of us. We learned that this is a normal part of the process and there is hope for these feelings.

We also have recognized the vigilance it takes to live a pure, Christian walk. Yes, the Lord fights our battles and walks with us. Yes salvation has nothing to do with works. All of that is true. But there is conditioning and strength that is built while running this race we call life that Paul so clearly speaks of in 1 Corinthians 9:24. There is vigorous work to be done in God's kingdom, and that work begins in and with us. We can live a life that stays the same, even after we have been saved, or we can condition ourselves to be better by working on areas where we struggle and allow God to work in those areas.

One of the most impacting lessons was learning how sacred our bodies are. When comparing our bodies to the temple, we learned that defiling it comes with some intense consequences, including death. When discussing the various ways we defile our temples, we learned we are all guilty of treating our temples carelessly at times. Also, learning the roles of the high priests and the standard God had for high priest has shown us what kind of standards we should be looking for in our high priest (our potential, future husband). Learning this brought lots of different emotions, but also prepared our heart to begin treating our bodies differently, and with more respect.

Lastly, and most importantly, we are learning about reconciliation. In our discussion of covenants and vows, we concluded that we can renounce bad pacts/covenants we have made outside of God's purpose for our lives and through Christ we can break free from any bondage that has come through the defiling of our temple. We learned how to be reconciled with Christ and gain the freedom Christ provided us to have through his sacrifice on the cross.

M O V I N G   F O R W A R D 

The next three weeks we will be discussing peace and how to deal with all of the emotions that have surfaced to the top of our hearts after discussing purity. When we stir the pot of our hearts, all of the emotions we forgot about that settled to be bottom begin to surface again and can cause anxiety within us. That is why it is so easy to use defense mechanisms, such as denial, to keep us from dealing with negative emotions head on and allow ourselves to be fooled in thinking that "everything is all right." Many of us have now realized that everything is NOT all right, and there is much work to be done in order to get back on track. This is a process, and we will be discussing how it can be a peaceful process when we do it God's way.

Keep pressing forward!

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

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