Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. –Matthew 5:8 NKJV
I have to confess I have been putting off this post for quite some time. I do not feel pure at heart and have a hard time even talking to you about what it means to be that. That said though, it is important for me to understand it just as much as it is important for you; since purity of heart is what the Christian church lacks all over the world. I have been a part of churches in Europe, in South America, and in North America. In all of these churches I have seen one common problem: a lack of purity in heart. Not only is this a problem in churches though, since it is also the main problem that keeps unbelievers out of churches. I too have this problem, but to understand it better we must first define it.
The word for pure here is καθαρός (katharos) and it means to be clean or pure. It is in a physical sense, a levitical sense, and (most importantly for our study of it) in an ethical sense. It means to be, “free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt; free from every admixture of what is false, sincere genuine; blameless, innocent; unstained with the guilt of anything”, according to Strong’s Greek Lexicon. What is also important to note is where Jesus tells us this purity should be at. He says blessed are the pure in heart. What is the heart? It is the very center of spiritual and physical life. It is who you are on the inside– who you really are. It is where your soul, your mind, your will, and even your physical life blood flows from. It is where the material meets the immaterial.
So many people never see God. They never look to the stars and are overwhelmed by the sense of a Creator. So many “Christians” never see God. They have heard of Him through systematic theologies and they have even studied Him through many volumes of commentaries, but they have never seen him. Remember Moses, who God used to record the very law of God, was still not allowed to see God. It wasn’t until Moses begged Him that God allowed him to see the afterglow of His glory. Remember once again that Jesus here is speaking to His disciples. It is a very interesting and intriguing paradox that no one can become pure at heart on their own and yet only those who are pure at heart will ever see God. The answer though is that only God can purify our hearts, yet we must be willing for Him to do so. Only Jesus can make them clean. This comes through faith in His son; we are then made clean.
The lesson there does not stop though, for though we are clean Jesus must continue to wash us. This is a very complex idea to discuss in such a short blog post, but the idea has to do with the concepts of salvation and sanctification. We are saved in an instant, but throughout our life Jesus is sanctifying us– or making us more and more set apart and more like Himself.
We never see God in our churches, or outside of them, because we are not sincere. We are not willing to give up our uncleanness. We like our sin– especially our hidden sins. The day you give your heart fully to God, unreserved and unequivocally, is the day that you will finally see God. Perhaps you are like me and have already done that; yet, there came a point in your life where you started to take back parts of your heart and can no longer hear or see God move and act in your life. It is time to let God have your heart again. It is time to surrender. You will be blessed, and you will finally be happy again– or perhaps even for the first time.