The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much — this is the passion of God burning inside me! I promised your hand in marriage to Christ, presented you as a pure virgin to her husband. And now I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ. It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached — different spirit, different message — you put up with him quite nicely. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4 The Message)

Have you been "lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ?" The New American Standard Version words it "the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ."

Can you remember those days when your relationship with Christ was simple and pure? Or, has something or someone pulled you away from Him? Are you in the midst of the battle for your mind?

There is a way to return to the simple purity of your love for Christ, but it is not necessarily the type of thing we want to hear. It involves a dramatic shift in our thinking. It begins inside our heads and deep in our hearts, then it will flow out of us. We often try to make it happen from the "outside in." We change the externals, and hope it will last. Usually it does not.

If we are to return to a relationship with Christ that is simple and pure, we must clear away the things that complicate our thinking, the things that clutter our mind.

So, what kinds of things must be cleared out?

Let me suggest three.

First, we must clear away other commitments. We must remember that we made a choice to follow Jesus. First and foremost we must continuously reflect on that promise, on that commitment, on that death to self. He is to be our model. He is to be our example. Not the fads and trends of the day. Not the popular people in our community. Not the stars in the limelight. Jesus is our model.

What kinds of things must be cleared out?
Second, we must clear away many of the myths of our day. Stuff will not satisfy us. Things will not fulfill us. Bigger does not necessarily mean better. More does not guarantee peace and contentment. In fact, the opposite is often true. Jesus never owned a home, never traveled far, and enjoyed widespread popularity for only a short time while on this earth. His devotion to the Father was simple and pure.

Third, we must clear away anything that will prevent us from being continually transformed into His likeness. The Amplified Bible translates the last part of  Philippians 3:10, "... and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death."

It is not a one-time transformation. Daily we must die. Continually we must allow His thinking to be our thinking, His plans to be our plans, His joys to be our joys, and His compassion to be our compassion.

Having a simple and pure devotion to Christ is not the style of the world. It is however, the style of the one who has chosen to follow Him.

What is it that is keeping you from the simple purity of your love for Christ? Is it worth it? What is it that God is asking you to clear out of your mind so that you can enjoy the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ? Will you do it?

Remember the answer is either pure and simple or it is no answer or at all.