“Blessed are the Pure in Heart,…” | The Beatitudes Series | Part 6
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8 KJV
To be pure is to not be mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
As Christians it’s no longer news that although we are in the world, we are not of the world. We’ve been separated for our Master who is continuously grooming and pruning us so we can grow the way He wants us to. The challenge we have with this is that we are still in this world. And as such there are so many things trying to contaminate us.
The spirit controls the physical realm. Our walk is spiritual. There is a spirit controlling this world. The devil already knows where he is spending eternity. So he doesn’t want to go there alone. Hence he is doing all he can to contaminate us so we become unworthy to enter into Paradise where our Lord is. To achieve this, the devil tries all he can to contaminate our hearts because he knows that is where good and evil is nursed and birthed. If our hearts are polluted, then everything that comes out from it is unclean.
Despite this challenge, Jesus Christ tells us that in order to see God, we’ve got to have a pure heart. He shifts the mind of his disciples to where He is mostly concerned about.
It isn’t enough to look all good on the outside and “act” out good fruits. Jesus isn’t moved by what we claim to be. He is moved by the state of our heart.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. You blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean. (Matthew 23:25–26)
The Pharisees focused so much on what was going on on the outside without paying attention to what was going on on the inside. Some Christians look so polished on the outside but their heart is far from the truth.
Judas Iscariot is a good example of someone who was with Jesus but whose heart was far from Him. When our motives as to why we are following Him isn’t right, it becomes easy to stray away from Him.
Jesus Christ didn’t come to change us from the outside. He came to change us from the inside. This is one thing I feel we are getting wrong in the body of Christ.
I shared in part 1 of my post titled cultivating good relationships in the body of Christ about how we focus so much on things that aren’t relevant. Our primary assignment is to teach the word that will bring about transformation in the hearts of the people. It seems to me that we focus so much on perfecting the order of service we do in church services that we have almost forgotten about the hearts of the people.
The Pharisees were perfect at executing hypocrisy. They took the law so strongly but had no love in their heart. They obeyed the law in order to be able to call out those who didn’t. Although they obeyed the law, their intention was wrong.
Why do you do what you do?
In the story of the Good Samaritan, we saw people who were highly placed and respected in church walk past someone in need. Obeying the law, which in this case was attending church service, to them was way more important than reaching out to someone who was in need. It’s possible to be in church for years and still have no love.
To be pure in heart is to have an uncompromising desire to please God.
The world wants us to be deceptive. Purity seems to be something that is unattainable. Flirting and lusting after men/women is almost an acceptable thing in our society. The world makes it seem OK for someone married to have a crush and even admit to it publicly. To be righteous seems abnormal in an age where sin has been exalted above righteousness. Despite this craziness in the world, the name of God seems not to be far from the lips of all. We hear Him mentioned so much so that it makes me wonder if we are all referring to the same God. Because the Jesus I know hates sin and wants us to pursue holiness.
When asked about adultery, Jesus Christ shifted the focus from the act to the intention. He made it clear that even before the deed was done, sin has been committed in the heart by lusting.
Good and evil comes from the heart. Out of the abundance of the heart the bible says the mouth speaks.
If we want to see God, we can’t escape having a pure heart. Jesus Christ isn’t carried away by what we do amongst believers. He is mostly concerned about what we do when we are amongst those who don’t know us.
Do we pay as much attention to our hearts as we do our physical appearance? Some people only like the idea of going to Heaven but are not willing to pay the price to go there.
No matter how people see us, we know who we really are. We know where our heart is.
Those whose heart are pure will see God. Heaven isn’t ours if our heart is filthy and dirty. God cannot behold iniquity and as such, if our desire is to spend eternity with Him, we must ensure that we are meeting the criteria to enter His kingdom.
I also believe seeing God in this context also applies to having a deeper relationship and understanding of God. Just as the more we spend time with a person, the more we get to know that person, so also it is with God.
When our heart is pure and our desires aligns with His, He brings us into deeper levels of understanding of Him. He reveals the secret and hidden treasures of His word to us. Seeing Him shifts from being a one off experience to a frequent experience. When we worship, He comes to us. When we pray, we feel His presence. When we are going on about our lives, He is with us, speaking to us and directing our path.
Do we want to see God?
Are we willing to pay the price?
Are we genuinely pursuing holiness? Or are we only good at talking about it.
What is the state of our heart?
This is big food for thought for us all.
–Efua Uke is a mentor, blogger, and contributor to Ambo TV. This article originally appeared on her website Grace Over Pain.