Purity and Commitment

Francis Frangipane

I dreamt I was the pastor of a small orphanage in Asia. The orphanage owned an old pickup truck that was in need of repair; I was lying on my side examining the undercarriage when, suddenly, soldiers pulled into our little compound and jumped out of their vehicles. They were looking for me, "the American missionary." If they found me, it meant I would be tortured and imprisoned. Since they hadn’t harmed any of the children or other workers, I felt my best recourse was to simply lie still, as I was somewhat hidden, and pray they left quickly.

I could see their boots as they walked toward the other side of the truck where I was lying. I had a glass of water in my hand. However, when I tried to put it down onto the pavement, it began to rattle, so I stopped and held it in midair. Soon, my hand was trembling because of the awkward way I was lying and also because of the nearness of the troops. Suddenly, I felt two hands firmly touch the sides of my middle back. The hands calmed and strengthened me. They were the hands of a friend of mine, a recent convert to Christ, who was one of the workers at the orphanage. As was the custom in this Asian culture, this young believer had taken a spiritual name that represented one’s new nature in Christ; that name was "Purity and Commitment."

The soldiers left and peace returned to the mission. Yet, the touch of the hands that had steadied me, also roused me from my sleep. And as I stirred, I awakened to the most exquisite fragrance. It was unlike any fragrance I've ever known. Its sweetness not only filled the room, but it washed the air like the cleansing after a thunderstorm. I honestly have never known any fragrance more beautiful or captivating.

As I waited before the Lord, the Holy Spirit warned that difficult tests were coming. In some lands there will be martial law and increased government crackdowns on Christians; in other places, temptations of the flesh would increase. These days will be difficult for many Christians. He said we will be tempted, but if we embrace "purity and commitment" as our friend, we would find new strength steadying us in our time of need.

Finally, as the fragrance continued in the room, I understood that this was what the Lord inhaled when His children stayed committed to Him during battle. I realized that, when we purpose to stay pure in spite of temptation, we literally become "a fragrance of Christ to God . . ." (2 Cor. 2:15).