To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but
to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and
consciences are defiled and polluted. -Titus 1:15 Amplified Bible
This is the innocence God is. This is also the innocence God created us to be. This is also the innocence God has redeemed us to. This is the innocence He's restoring in us. Making us as pure and vulnerable as a lily from the inside out. And we are vulnerable because we are among thorns. Our thorny flesh. Our thorny world. Our thorny relationships. Our thorny enemy.
But this is the innocence the blood of Jesus purchased for us. This is the way God always intended it to be for us. Innocence for God is not something to grow past. Innocence is not going from puppy love to mature love. Innocence is not missing out on fun. Innocence is ruined by knowing anything that is not good. Innocence is murdered by eating the knowledge of good AND evil.
We so often think of purity as something you only have as a child. And a dirtying of purity we accept as the way life goes. We grow up. We get dirty. We mature. We figure out there's more to life than virginity and innocence. But to God purity is not a doormat to be stepped on, and used to wipe off our filthy feet. It's not just a place we touch once to move up to a more "sophisticated" way of living. Purity is the ecstasy of "all things new" that God would have us continually live in. In purity, in innocence, nothing gets old or tired or boring. In purity all of life is a garden to be explored and tasted of, cultivated and multiplied. Living in purity means knowing only good.
But since we live in a world and in a body of knowledge of good and evil, this purity God has redeemed for us is like a lily among thorns. It's vulnerable to pain. But what's so awesome is that pain cannot destroy purity. Even death cannot destroy it. For Jesus is the Lily of the Valley who rose from the dead and lives in us as a lily among thorns.
I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the
valleys. Song of Solomon 2:1
Let us not shrink back from pain, or rejection, or even death, thinking it is to the destruction of our newly-made pure hearts. For it is not in knowing good and experiencing pain that our purity is marred. It is only in choosing to know good and evil that we are destroyed.
Let me not think with the mind of "street-smarts." Let me not be wise to the things and thinking of this world. Let me seem as a fool, as naive, as totally innocent to what the world says is natural though it is not natural, it is perverted and twisted and contagiously spreading death.
Let me think only with that pure mind I've been given as Christ lives in me and I live in Him. With that mind, amidst everything the world says is natural, I can see past the twisted thorns to the innocent lily God created it to be.
Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the
daughters. Song of Solomon 2:2
To the world all that is twisted and perverted and contagiously spreading death is natural.
To my new mind (which only knows good and not evil) the only natural thing is the lily among all those mangled thorns.
***Related: A Lily Among Thorns