The Pure in Heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Have you ever been that person in the middle of the room awkwardly not joining into the crude conversation? How about the person who has chosen to wait to give their physical body to their coming spouse in the midst of a culture of compromise? Have you ever had to be the one who walked out of the movie displaying and promoting darkness? Well, this might be the sort of thing you have run into as a Christian in the twenty first century. Why might these things come with the territory of being marked as Christian? Not because we were legalistically not allowed to watch Disney movies as kids, but because our eyes, ears, mouth and life are owned by another who commands our life to be all about one thing. God Almighty.
Lack of mixture & Wholeness
Both of the things above mean purity, but they take different roles in the way they flow through your life. I think very often the Christian culture is known for all the “don’ts” in the world’s eyes because we see purity as a list of things to not do in order to “be pure”. Yet the word itself also gives outline for how to be proactive (loving God) along with the reactive (avoiding the mixture).
The reality is that you cannot clearly see and know God (purity itself) when your heart is captured by so many other “loves”. How can you see the sun when clouds have masked the sky? How can you look at God (the Holy of Holies) holding onto your habitual sin? You can’t. That’s where purification comes in to play. The act of purification is both by sanctification of a loving Father AND the choice to partake in that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians. 4:8).
Purity is both cutting out impurity AND chasing after the Most Pure. You cannot chase after the Holiest of Holies while holding onto your “otherly desires”. You would NEVER drink some clean-looking water if you knew it had been contaminated by cholera! This is why the FISRT step in following Jesus is to loose our life (Luke 9:24). To count all other passions and desires as null in light of gaining Him! We can’t have both – just like you can’t drink a glass of water that has been contaminated by cholera!
Wholeness is the end result. It’s what happens when we have finished the race of continually throwing off everything that hinders (Hebrews 12:1-2). Wholeness is found when we gaze into the face of Jesus unashamedly. We taste this now only in part as we become more and more like Jesus. As He uses trials and gives us opportunity to resist our temptations, we become more like Him. We rejoice in the chance to choose that which is holy because even though it is a “self inflicted suffering”, it makes us ready to see His face just the same as a trial we would never choose. Do not be ashamed to turn down that compromising opportunity. Every time you choose to give your eyes, heart, ears, body (and every aspect of yourself) to God, you are showing forth that you see Him as more significant than any other fleshy desire. And one day… He will make us WHOLE as we gaze upon His beauty unashamed.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…” 1 Peter 1:14-17