I seek “purity of heart.” I silently beat myself up over impure thoughts. I allow any assurance I might know as a beloved child of God to be subsumed by guilt or fear. And then the word of God breaks through…
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ…. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless… (Philippians 1:6, 9-10)
The purity of heart that I long for is not just my work alone
but the work of God with(in) me!
This was a great, sudden insight one day last week. I suppose it is one of those things that I should have known, but it was like a piece of a puzzle had fallen into place. As I heard these words from Philippians read in worship, I was struck by Paul’s confidence that:
(1) God has begun a “good work” in us
(2) God will bring that good work to completion
(3) That as we grow in relationship with and love for God and others, we become “pure and blameless”
God works to help transform me, from within, that I might be “pure of heart.” Granted, I need to be open to the discipline and/or changes to make myself open and available to God’s transforming work. But God does the work!
(I’m also finding assurance in one of John Wesley’s sermons, but I’ll think more on this and write of it later.)