Leslie Basham: Have you ever stumbled across a daytime TV talk show and gotten hooked? They may be talking about the most outrageous things and we know it's a waste of time, but we can be so curious.
It's Thursday, June 5; and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Curiosity is a powerful thing. Many of the inventions we depend on daily came into existence because someone, somewhere, was curious. Could a task be done easier or faster? And their curiosity drove their genius. But curiosity has a dark side. Unguarded thoughts give rise to uninhibited curiosity, which can easily lead to unbridled behavior. Here's Nancy to explain.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We've been talking all this week about the choices that we make as single women. I want to talk today and then in the next session about what I believe is one of the most difficult choices that we have to make. I'm talking about the choice to be morally pure--the choice to be morally pure.
And I believe this is an area of the greatest potential failure and heartache and heartbreak, perhaps more than almost any other area we face as singles and also as married people.
But, let me say on the other hand, that the choice to pursue moral purity can be an area where we experience incredible joy and blessing and freedom. It doesn't need to be an area of failure.
Now in the area of moral purity, there are two aspects that we really want to consider. The Scripture says there's something we're supposed to put off and there's something we're supposed to put on. Both of them relate to this area of moral purity. Paul said to the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians 6, "Flee sexual immorality." Run from it.
That's something we're supposed to put off. Don't be sexually immoral. In fact he says, "Don't even get near it. Don't play with it. Don't tolerate it. Don't think about it. Don't condone it. Run from it. Get away from it. That's the 'put off.'"
Now there's another aspect and that is the positive aspect of pursuing holiness, pursuing righteousness in the area of morals. Let me read a passage that puts both of these in perspective.
I'm looking at 1 Thessalonians 4, beginning in verse three. And Paul says, "This is the will of God, your sanctification." You're being made holy, you're being conformed to the image of Christ, this is God's will for you--that you should have a pure, Christ-like life.
Then he talks about the "put off" part, "that you should abstain from sexual immorality." Flee sexual immorality.
But then he says there's a positive part of this. Something you should pursue. 1 Thessalonians 4 and also "that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel," or his own body, "in sanctification and honor."
He's saying, "God didn't make your body for sexual immorality. God made your body for holiness and honor."
"Not in passion of lust," verse 5, "like those who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such."
Verse 7, "For God did not call us to uncleanness." That's what we're supposed to put off. But He called us to holiness. That's what we're supposed to put on. "Therefore," verse 8, "he who rejects this, does not reject man," but he rejects God who has given us His Holy Spirit.
Do you hear Paul saying, "This is a really serious matter? This matter of moral purity?" He says, "If you reject God's teaching on this, you're not rejecting what some person said, you're rejecting the will of God for your life."
Let me say that if you embrace this, the holiness, the putting on of moral purity, you're embracing God's very best for your life.
Now when it comes to living as morally pure or chaste women--how's that for an old-fashioned word. Chastity? Moral excellence? In order to live that way, I have to tell you that you have to go against the current. All the time. Our culture is moving in one direction and it's not God's direction.
Everywhere you turn, you will be bombarded with sensual, sexual advertising, entertainment. You're going to be encouraged to indulge your flesh. And you're going to be promised some incredible rewards and pleasure if you do.
Now no one is going to tell you, in the world, the consequences you're going to reap if you do it the world's way. They're going to make it all look so good, even as Satan did with that piece of fruit that Eve bit into.
Let me tell you, if that piece of fruit had been crawling with worms that she could see, don't think she would have ever taken a bite of it. It looked good. It was pleasing to the eyes. But she did take a bite and found out that she had a mouth and a life full of worms from that point on.
I think of the woman who wrote me recently. She said she'd been married for 23 years. She said, "As a high school freshman, I was involved with a guy and allowed him to touch me intimately. A few years ago, I learned that I have a sexually-transmitted disease. This fact has held me in bondage for months. I don't know how to move forward in my walk with the Lord. I feel like a hypocrite; a woman with leprosy."
And she went on and on. Now there's a woman who's been married for decades. "As a result of a moment of pleasure as a ninth grade girl, now I'm reaping consequences and guilt and damage, in my emotions and in my marriage, that I never counted on when I was in that situation all those years ago."
Let me just share with you because I believe God takes this matter so seriously and because it's such a huge potential pitfall. I have made very few vows in my life. God says, "If you make a vow, don't make it lightly because God takes vows seriously."
But one of the very few vows that I've made before the Lord, and one that by God's grace I plan to keep is the vow to be morally pure, to walk in moral purity, to do whatever it takes to go against the tide, to go against the current.
And let me tell you this, "I don't take it for granted that I can do this apart from the Lord because I can't."
I know that I am as vulnerable as any other person to fall in this area of my life. That's why I so often pray in different ways, "Lord, guard my heart. Guard my heart and show me how, on the front end of things, to make choices that are wise."
You know, moral purity doesn't start in the behavior. It starts in the heart. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8).
If you want to be intimate with God, if you want to have a close relationship with God, it starts with moral purity. And if you have a pure heart, you're going to be able to love others with the love of Christ, which is a love that's self-denying rather than self-seeking.
And then moral purity involves my thought life because ultimately what I think about is the way I'm going to live.
That's what I'm going to act on. So if I want to live a morally pure life, I have to guard the input that comes into my mind. That means I have to make some tough choices about what I read, about what I listen to, what I watch, the kind of conversation I listen to from others. I love that verse in Proverbs that says, "Walk straight ahead, don't look to the right, don't look to the left, just look straight ahead" (Proverbs 4:27).
And there are many, many situations in life, when I get on my computer, on the Internet, when I'm driving that I think it's really important to develop an aversion to curiosity when it comes to things that are not holy and to say, "I don't want to experience it."
I don't want to dabble with it. I don't want to get that input into my mind because it may take me some places in my desires and in my thought patterns and living patterns that are not pure.
If you want to have a morally pure life, then you need to fuel righteous desires and avoid fueling sensual desires. If you want to be morally pure, don't read romance novels and be careful about what other kinds of entertainment you allow to come in to your life.
And then part of this commitment is just to flee sexual immorality. And that means fleeing anything that could lead me to sexual sin. You see, sexual sin doesn't begin at the moment of sexual intercourse.
Sexual sin begins long before that and that's why it's so critical that we guard our hearts and we guard our steps in every area of our lives that could lead us or others into sexual sin.
Let me touch on a couple of those areas and then we'll pick up on some more of them in the next session. For example, this whole area of immodest clothing. Now that may not be something that would cause us to fall into sexual sin, but it can and does cause men to fall into sexual sin.
I wish you could read some of the letters that I've received from men saying, "Don't women realize in our churches, our Christian women, what they are doing to us as men in the way that they are dressing?"
And we can just say that that's their problem or we can say, "No, I'm going to make that my problem. I'm going to make that an issue because I love the men in the Body of Christ and I want to help them be morally pure so I'm going to be modest in what I wear."
Now there's a difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract. We're not saying in this area that you don't dress attractively; but I think, as women, we have a sense about how what we wear is affecting others.
Can I just appeal to you, women, to look through your wardrobe and to say, "Is there anything that I've been wearing that could be an occasion for men to stumble morally?"
And I find that women today need, maybe, help with more specifics because we haven't been taught in these areas and it's so "in" to expose parts of the body that ought to be covered.
So we're talking about outfits that are too low-cut, outfits that expose more of the legs, the thighs, the hips than should be exposed, things that are too short, things that are too tight, things that are too revealing. Am I being specific?
This is part of walking in moral purity and helping men to walk in moral purity, is that we guard ourselves as it relates even to this area of modest clothing.
"Flee sexual immorality." Run from it. And pursue righteousness, moral purity and excellence with all your heart.
Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been helping us understand what it means to flee sexual impurity in our day and age. Today's program is part of a series called "Seven Secrets for Singles" and it's full of the kind of practical insight that we've heard today.
We're not always able to bring Nancy's entire teaching on a subject. There are some time restraints when you're on the radio, but there are no time restraints on cassettes or CDs.
And if you'd like to hear Nancy's entire teaching, you can give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. Ask for "Seven Secrets for Singles" on two cassettes for a suggested donation of $8 or two CDs for $10.
You can visit our Web site and order on-line, hear a copy of today's program or read a transcript. The address is ReviveOurHearts.com.
If you're struggling with a specific area that we've touched on today, we hope you'll write us. We have a team of people who pray for our listeners and we'll pray for you.
Rules, laws and boundaries. Many people resent them but more people are saved by them. It's true on the highway and it's true in life. On tomorrow's program, Nancy discusses some boundaries for morality. I hope you can join us for Revive Our Hearts.
Used with permission by Revive Our Hearts .
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.
She has authored nineteen books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), and Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together.Her books have sold more than three million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.