The Secret Key to Purity
Why is there always an enthusiastic response from the bride of Christ when we shout “FREEDOM” from the platform?
Because there is a deep desire within the heart of many Christians to be set free to love and serve God with passion and purity.
Wherever we travel we see the Lord winning and wooing His bride into a passionate relationship with Him. As He heals them physically, emotionally and spiritually, they are being set on fire with passion for Him. In England, we watched in amazement as God healed a woman of cerebral palsy.
The next evening she was so excited that she danced her way through worship and would not sit down for the message. At home she ran up and down the stairs to the amazement of her husband and children. This wonderful display of the Father’s love for them moved their hearts. They became quite passionate about Jesus as they stepped into freedom.
In Israel, we rejoiced as God set a worship leader free from deep hurts she had received in her relationship with her father and some inner vows she had made. As she forgave, God kept ministering His love to her throughout the rest of the conference. She became convinced that her heavenly Father really did love her. As a result, she sang her songs of love with tears streaming down her face. Her eyes were on Jesus only. Being set free does that because the freedom Jesus gives produces passion and purity.
In Texas, as we gave an invitation for people to give their lives to the Lord, about two hundred people, mostly teenagers, came forward with unusual passion and hunger. Many were kneeling and crying as God was obviously touching their hearts in wonderful ways. It moved our hearts as well to see these young people so deeply affected by God’s love. He poured into them the passion to follow Him without holding anything back.
The Love Motivation
Isn’t it amazing how people in love want so much to please the one they love? The same is true with loving Jesus. There is little thought to messing up or doing anything that would hurt God or build any walls that would prevent His love from flowing in. Love brings out that kind of purity.
There is such a difference between obeying God’s laws out of a sense of duty instead of a heart full of passion for Him.
I (Connie) was brought up in a church that had a lot of rules and regulations. We even had a handbook that gave us guidelines to follow. As a teenager I remember laughing at the stringent rules. They didn’t keep me from doing wrong things, but instead they caused me to feel even more rebellious. Then I met a group of young people who were passionately in love with God. Most of them had not come from a church background but had become Christians through a friend at school. They, in turn, brought their friends to the Lord. No one told them there were things they were not allowed to do anymore. They were just excited about their newfound love for God.
As time went on there were things that they didn’t WANT to do anymore. Those were things that got in the way of their relationship with Him. It was then that I realized that it I didn’t want to do anything that would come between me and the God I now so desperately wanted to be close to. I started to realize that this is what true holiness is. It is a desire that comes from deep within to draw close to a holy God, whereas legalism is an outward pressure put on us to somehow perform to earn God’s love and approval. Romans 7:6 says, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not the old way of the written code.” The law hadn’t been able to keep me from sinning; it was through the power of the Spirit that I came into freedom.
Why God Gives Us Freedom
Freedom may bring about more opportunity to do things we should not do. The boundary between right and wrong used to be the Law. Now it is no longer a matter of external rules, but the attitude of our hearts. Because we are free from the Law, we can do what we want to do. That’s real freedom for us! But now we don’t want to sin because we are being led by the Spirit. “You my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ... live by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature...If you are led by the Spirit you are not under law”. Galatians 5:13,16,18.
We are being set free from the power of sin in our lives.
Galatians 1:4 says that the Lord Jesus Christ “gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.” This is so that “we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6) If we become lured into sin again, we will only get trapped and entangled once more, becoming a slave again to sin.
Why would we ever want to go back again into bondage? There are many verses in the scriptures that call us to righteousness with dire consequences if we continue to walk in sin. But what is our motivation to step into righteous behavior? Is it the law or is it freedom?
When I (Jeremy) was in seminary there was wonderful acceptance and friendship as long as I stayed within the guidelines of the school. I loved the commitment and conviction to the Word of God. However, I felt that I had to strive to stay within the guidelines which the school defined, otherwise I thought I would quickly be pushed out. There was very little room it seemed to me, for forgiveness and reconciliation. If I failed, I would be gone.
Although seminary brought out the best in terms of outward righteousness, in some students, it also brought out the worst in terms of purity. Many were afraid to fail or even reveal that they were struggling. They put on masks and said everything was great while inside there was turmoil, fear and even hypocrisy. I don’t recall anyone asking for prayer or confessing any hidden shortcoming. We looked great on the outside but were dying on the inside. Real freedom and purity was hard to find.
Something else we discovered that brought real freedom was the fact that we no longer had to strive to “be good.” John Arnott often speaks to new believers in these terms. He tells them, “Now don’t go home and try hard to be good. Just fall in love.” He’s learned that the key to being set free is to fall passionately in love with Jesus. Then as we become empowered by the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to fall into striving. Ephesians 3:16-19 says that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit deep in our innermost being that we can be free to discover the fullness of God.
How many times have we found that the harder we strive to do things right, the worse it gets?
We try in our own efforts, and then we fail. If we just learn to lean into God’s strength instead, we will find that He will empower us to do the things He wants us to do. Even our serving God should not be from a place of striving, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 4:11 says, “Let him who serves serve in the strength which God supplies in order that in everything, God may be glorified.” If we were able to break free of habits and sin in our lives without God’s help, then we would get the glory. But it doesn’t work. When we become empowered by His Spirit, then He gets all the glory. All He really asks of us is to make choices — good choices. Then we need to ask Him to empower us to walk free.
Jesus said that He came to heal the broken-hearted (inner healing) and to set the captives free (deliverance). He has been setting us free from addictions, habitual sins, demonic strongholds, pain from past hurts and from lies of the enemy. He has been healing His bride, causing her to be “without spot or wrinkle,” to be prepared for her coming Bridegroom. I believe that is why the Lord is releasing keys to the body of Christ in these days for bringing healing and deliverance. As we near the time when Christ returns, the bride is making herself ready for the wedding feast. Bright clean linen, speaking of her righteousness and purity, will be given her to wear. (Rev. 19:7,8) He’s coming for a pure and spotless bride that is passionate for Him, a bride that is truly set free.