Have you ever in the first five seconds of temptation, demanded of your mind that it look steadfastly at the crucified form of Jesus Christ? Picture this. You have just seen a peek-a-boo blouse inviting further fantasy. You have five seconds. “No! Get out of my mind! God help me!” Now, immediately, demand of your mind – you can do this by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). Demand of your mind to fix its gaze on Christ on the cross. Use all your fantasizing power to see his lacerated back. Thirty-nine lashes left little flesh intact. He heaves with his breath up and down against the rough vertical beam of the cross. Each breath puts splinters into the lacerations. The Lord gasps. From time to time he screams out with intolerable pain. He tries to pull away from the wood and the massive spokes through his wrist rip into the nerve endings and he screams again with agony and pushes up with his feet to give some relief to his wrists. But the bones and nerves in his pierced feet crush against each other with anguish and he screams again. There is no relief. His throat is raw from screaming and thirst. He loses his breath and thinks he is suffocating, and suddenly his body involuntarily gasps for air and all the injuries unite in pain. In torment, he forgets about the crown of two-inch thorns and throws his head back in desperation, only to hit one of the thorns perpendicular against the cross beam and drive it half an inch into his skull. His voice reaches a soprano pitch of pain and sobs break over his pain-wracked body as every cry brings more and more pain. Now, I am not thinking about the blouse any more. I am at Calvary. These two images are not compatible.
John Piper, A Passion for Purity vs. Passive Prayers, Matthew 5:28-29
Resources on Purity
- Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control by Elisabeth Elliot
- Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Joshua Harris
- Purity: A Godly Woman’s Adornment (On-The-Go Devotionals) by Lydia Brownback
- The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails by Randy Alcorn