A pastor once said to a man who couldn’t resist clicking on porn sites, “If you knew that Jesus was near you, sitting right next to you while you were on your computer, would you still click on porn sites?”
The man said, “Of course not! I wouldn’t want Jesus to see that stuff!”
One of the points of the sermon in my church today was that faith knows that God is near, always present—hence, the above illustration that was given. And so it follows that, when we know that God is near, that is when our faith is activated, and then we are able to resist temptation.
My best verse for purity—which starts in the mind—is Psalm 16:8: “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”
Unfortunately, I don’t always remember it when I need it. But if I do remember to quote it, it really does make me strong in my mind. Now don’t get me wrong, we are not to use verses like a magic wand that will magically make temptations go away. But quoting key verses will remind us of eternal principles: like the truth that God is always near, and when we realize His nearness and believe that He is near, and we don’t reject Him, then, we will be strong; His nearness will make us strong.
Another great verse on this is Psalm 73:28: “The nearness of God is my good…” Yes, if God is near I am good! He will make all things good for me. What a pleasant thought!
Here’s another good verse, especially in regard to purity: Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This verse actually gives us the result of our endeavors to realize His presence and to set Him before us. Here it is saying that if we have done this, if we have taken steps to purify our heart, then His presence and nearness will be more real to us, we will be able to see Him clearer.
Aha! And so we enter a blessed cycle. Because, when He becomes more real to us, and we see His face clearer, we become stronger in faith and have more power to be pure.
1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.