The religion of God goes right to the heart of the matter
By Don Ruhl
People may mock you as puritanical, strict and old-fashioned, but Jesus says,
“Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.”
Purity of heart flows from the Beatitudes in the previous verses, that is,
When you are poor in spirit
you see the wealth of a pure heart.
When you mourn
you see the sacredness of purity.
When you are meek
you see the tool of purity.
When you are hungering and thirsting for righteousness
you see the necessity of purity.
When you are merciful
you see how you became pure.
The heart is the root of our lives. We do not live a life of good works without forethought, showing that the heart is the root. Since this is true, in Proverbs chapter 4, Solomon exhorts us to be alert to what is in the heart.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
You only need to think of yourself to see how easily things enter the heart and then come out in sin. For example, have you been in the worship service, having deep spiritual feelings, only to leave and encounter a bad driver and instantly your anger was to the boiling point?
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart?
Can someone hug you, but it is obvious that love is not in his or her heart? So it was said in Second Chronicles chapter 25 of Amaziah, King of Judah, that His actions were right, but something was missing. “And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart” (2Ch 25.2).
Therefore, listen to the advice of Cicero, given 2000 years ago. What he says about sensuality is not restricted to fornication, but any work of the flesh. “Hold off from sensuality, for if you have given yourself up to it, you will find yourself unable to think of anything else.”
Purity of heart is not merely the absence of evil, but the presence of the right thing. “A thing is pure when there is nothing in it out of harmony with its nature. Water is pure, air is pure, when they contain only their constituent elements, and in the right proportion. Gold is pure when it has been separated by fire from all foreign matter. The diamond is pure, the crystal is pure, when there is nothing in them which hinders the refraction and reflection of light. It is thus with the heart, which is the emotional part of the soul. It is pure, when it loves only that which it ought to love” (The Biblical Illustrator). He whose heart is void of evil, but is not filled with goodness, is easy prey for the devil. Therefore, those with pure hearts shall see God!
The Pure in Heart Shall See God?
Impure hearts cannot see God. Perverse minds see nothing right. Such a heart cannot see God rightly. As storms keep us from seeing clearly, so impure hearts keep us from seeing our way to God. An impure heart is like glasses covered with dirt. Glasses covered even with just fingerprints distort vision. “The phrase ‘see God’ does not refer to any manifestation of His glory visible to the eye of sense [in this life, DR]. It is to the far deeper sight of the soul that Christ refers. Your best friend is not seen by the eye of the body; you see him spiritually, his qualities of mind and heart…It is useless to tell the selfish about the beauty of unselfishness; you might as well tell the blind about the glory of colour” (The Biblical Illustrator).
Yet, the pure in heart also have the prospect of seeing God literally, in the end, in heaven. All people will see God at the end (Rev 1.7; 20.12), but the pure in heart shall see Him as The Friend. Listen to this series of Scriptures give a hint of the glorious moment that is awaiting us.
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
(Job 19.26, 27)
As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 Joh. 3.2).
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads (Rev. 22.4).
As the song says,
If I walk in the path way of duty,
If I work till the close of the day,
I shall see the great King in His beauty,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.
Yet, another song announces,
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.
Beauties of this earth dazzle our eyes and hold us in awe. Think of a glorious sight in nature; see a tropical beach scene; see an ocean of mountains. That is only the footstool of His feet! (Isa 66.1). When you visit someone, do you only look at his footstool?
Does the thought of seeing God thrill your soul? If you want to see the Artist who is greater than His art, you must be pure in heart.