“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27) An offering, a sacrifice without blemish is in part behind this verse, a person in whom none of the desires and pleasures of wicked men is found, that is how we are to be.
If you have looked inside your mind lately, you may find a spot or two, but as all of us who have been born-again are you will also find that they are not permanent spots, not in the sense that we continuously seek after them. Satan owns this world at the present time, it is his to do with as he pleases, within limitations that the Holy Spirit places upon him, and that included temptations upon the children of the Most High. I do not presume to know those limitations, nor how they are allowed on specific individuals, it may be that the more the Lord places before us, the more protection is required, for I believe that those who are profitable for the kingdom are extremely hated by our adversary.
The path that the Lord lays before each of us is the same one, it leads to the front door of the kingdom of God, but we are not all on the exact same part of it, each of us has been set to a specific task, and one of the requirements of fulfilling that task is to be unspotted. This is where free will becomes involved, this is where effort on our part is required.
To remain unspotted requires us to make choices, and whether or not we are tempted by Satan, or we find that temptation without his help, we are the responsible party, we are the ones who are to make the decision as to how many spots we allow within us. These areas within us, these parts of the world that we are to be separated from, (2 Cor. 6:17) are not always visible to that outside world, in fact, in most cases we try to do our best to not even let those that love us the most see them, or even let them know they exist. They are abhorrent to us and desirable at the same time, it is why Hebrews 11:25 stands as true. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
We desire what we do not want. These spots can of course be removed by the Lord, but He does not do so forcefully, we must want Him more than that temptation, more than the pleasure of the sin, more than that spot, and so we memorize and place into our hearts 1 Corinthians 10:13. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Every temptation will leave a spot if we decide of our own free will to fall into that season of sin, and the longer we stay there, the larger the spot.
A recuring action that we take by our own free will, when that action is known by us to be against the will of God will leave not only a spot, but will call for chastisement by the Lord, (Heb. 12:6) for He will not allow His children to stray far and to remain there, we are His representatives here on earth, and He will not allow His name to become besmirched because of us. This is why I have posed the question many times in the past, and it is one we should ask ourselves occasionally, “How long does a prodigal son need to be away before one realizes that he was not one of God’s children in the first place?” 1 John 2:19 puts it like this, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
When these spots are in our minds, when they are part of our thought processes instead of becoming an actual action, if they remain, again by our own free will, then Matthew 5:28 comes into play, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” We are called to be unspotted from the world, and to put it bluntly, we can’t, it’s not possible, for our flesh is always a part of us, until we are glorified, but we are to try, we are to put forth the effort, we are to exert our free will in this area, deny ourselves for His glory, to carry our cross (Matt. 16:24) and continue on the path.