Pure is not perfect.
My devotional this morning led me to Psalm 26:6-8 that says "Lord I wash my hands to make myself pure , so that I can come to your altar. I sing a song to give you thanks, and I tell about all the wonderful things you have done. Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory is."
Have you ever had a time when you KNOW you did something that wasn't what God wanted you to do or you DIDN'T do what you knew God told you to do? When your heart is submitted to the Lord, there can be such conviction. But other times, there can be condemnation. That was me this morning. I knew God told me not to do something, and I did it anyway. It wasn't a blatant disregard of what He said but nevertheless small disobedience is still disobedience. Anyway, I wasn't looking for this scripture or anything of the sort. But God is so kind and merciful and He knows my heart is to please and to serve Him, that He led me here (I love it when He does that). So I want to share with you.
The NET version of this scripture says "I maintain a pure lifestyle, so I can appear before your altar, o Lord, to give thanks, snd to tell about all of your amazing deeds. o Lord, I love the temple where you live, the place where your splendor is revealed." There's soooo much in this passage that I love but what stood out to me today was verse 6, "I wash my hands to make myself pure" and the other version, "I maintain a pure lifestyle so I can appear before your altar, o Lord". And as I began to ponder over that particular scripture, the Lord whispered to me, Pure is not perfect.
Sometimes we can burden ourselves soooo much trying to be perfect when all God wants is for us to be pure. We know that only Jesus is perfect, but still sometimes the enemy will make us feel condemned for something we did or didn't do and then that makes us paralyzed or stifled, not doing anything, not moving, standing still.
In this life we're living here in the earth, staying clean each and every single day is impossible. There's a lot of things we encounter and have to deal with (social media, people, personal issues, etc). We will fall and make mistakes and mess up in actions or thought. But James 1 says that when we do fall, it's a part of our faith being tested and that testing is actually working patience in us. And when patience is working in us we will come out more mature, more like what God wants us to be. It's how we respond when we do fall that makes the difference. All of this is a part of us being perfect-ED by the mercies and grace of God!
So being pure is the goal, keeping your heart postured before God. Now, listen... this is not a license to sin or anything like that. We are to strive to live a pure and holy life because God is holy. But it's Him who makes us holy. Check out the definition of pure and perfect:
Pure - not mixed with any other material
Perfect - being entirely without fault, flaw, defect
What can you do to make sure you're not "mixed with any other material" or mindset or way or reacting? Guard your heart, because of it flows the issues of life. When you fall, quickly, get up and wash your hands and make yourself pure. God will use this to perfect you, making you complete and whole in Christ Jesus.