PURE IN HEART

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. . .

(Matthew 5:3-8)

The pure in heart will see God. Wow, only them? Do I have any hope of ever seeing God? See God how? See God when?

I just began a study called The Sermon on the Mount by Jen Wilkin (2014). You probably recognize the passage above as the beginning of that message. I stopped before getting to the end of the list of Beatitudes. You see, I keep thinking about what it means to be “pure in heart” because I want to understand what it means to “see God.” I want to “see God,” don’t you?

THE PURE IN HEART WILL SEE GOD.

Well, I’m in trouble at the second word in that sentence—pure. I’m not thinking purity is what stands out when God looks at my heart. From my point of view, it’s a mess in there. How could it ever become pure?

My first problem here is a wrong definition of pure. I’ve always seen pure as synonymous with perfect. And I can’t be perfect. John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” So if we can’t be perfect how can we be pure?

I looked up the word pure on my computer and the first definition I read said this:

1. free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter: pure gold; pure water.

So if Jesus isn’t telling us we have to have a perfect heart in order to see God, what is this “pure heart?” What is a heart that is free from things that contaminate?

HOW DOES SIN CLOUD OUR ABILITY TO SEE GOD?

Maybe the question we should be asking is what contaminates our hearts? Now that one I can answer! Me, Myself and I are a big part of the contaminates in my heart—selfishness in all its unattractive forms and the impure attitudes that go along with it. Fear of something (name your own) is the fuel that powers those contaminates.

The question that Wilkins asks that gave me my “Aha Moment” is: How do these areas of sin cloud your ability to “see God?”

It suddenly came together for me. I hope it does for you too.

Jesus says, “Blessed are. . .” I don’t know where I got the idea that he was talking about only a future blessing. I believe the blessing is future, but it is also for the present.

It was the right question at the right moment in my study: “How do these areas of sin cloud your ability to ‘see God’?” AHA! My heart is impure and my vision is clouded when I let something else (good or bad) become my focus: overloaded schedule, self, the object of my fear, etc.

WHEN MY HEART IS IMPURE, I HAVE A HARD TIME SEEING HIM.

When my focus is mixed with so many other things, it is hard to strain those distractions out and take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to bless a stranger or to even notice a special blessing God offers in my day.

It’s not that I’m totally ignoring Him or turning my back on Him, but when my heart is impure, I have a hard time seeing Him.

How many blessings, or how many opportunities to see God, have I missed because I’ve been focused on other things? How about you?

BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART FOR THEY WILL SEE GOD.