Wednesday, March 9, 2011

White Lily

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  
Matthew 5:8 NIV

After the cold winter, I really enjoy the warmer temperatures spring brings.  It's such a wonderful time of the year!  There's nothing like the great outdoors and the smell of fresh cut grass or the thrill of watching a colorful butterfly fluttering by.  However, nothing compares to the joy of seeing flowers blossom.

The White Lily has been cultivated for thousands of years and are used even today in weddings, floral bouquets and in the celebration of Easter.  It is a biblical flower that represents purity.  It's mentioned many times throughout the Bible.  Jesus Himself mentioned the beauty of this flower as He instructed His disciples to not worry about the things of this life...

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these..."
Luke 12:27

This delicate, snow-white flower was often used in ancient paintings of the Virgin Mary.  Modesty and virginity symbolize this lovely plant.  It's no wonder the artists used the beautiful and graceful White Lily to accompany Mary in the portraits.  When I think of Mary I can't help but think of a young woman who was pure in body, but also pure in heart.  Psalm 24:3-4 tells us about a pure heart.

Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?  Who may stand in his holy place?   The one who has clean hands and a pure heart...
Psalm 24:3-4 NIV

The Lord wants us to call on Him with a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).  If our hearts are holding onto sin then our prayers are hindered (Psalm 66:18) and our fellowship with God is broken.  When we come to Him with a repentant heart (that means turning from doing things "our" way and going "God's" way instead) it demonstrates to Him that we want to be clean in heart.  Regularly confessing our sins and asking for His help with the sins that seem to entangle us, we are learning to be transparent and open with our Heavenly Father.

You may ask, "How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?" Sometimes our sin is obvious while other times they are not.  Since God sees ALL of our sin we need to be courageous enough to ask Him to "search our hearts" and reveal to us the hidden ones.  (Psalm 139:23-24).

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.  Keep your servant from deliberate sins!  Don’t let them control me.  Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
Psalm 19:12-13 NLT

Confession of our sins not only puts us in a right place with God, it also frees our hearts from guilt.  Just as the beautiful White Lily represents purity, our hearts can also reflect innocence. It all begins with an open and honest conversation with our Creator.

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