Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
From a Facebook post by Brent Cloyd -
Most people would tell us they want to go to heaven. This does not necessarily mean they want to see God. In fact, the idea of meeting God face to face might be fearful. The desire to go to heaven does not necessarily translate into a desire to understand God or to worship God. In the psyche of many if not most people, it simply means they prefer the security and happiness of heaven over the anxiety of the alternative.
But heaven is the place where we will see and know God in all his fullness. Jesus says if we want that blessing then we need to be pure in heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8 ESV). But what does it mean to be “pure in heart”? In our cultural Christianity it might mean that we possess and live by a good ethical standard. We are honest and can be trusted. It infers that we display a life based on good morals. These things are important. But the truth is these standards might be twisted by our own ideas and shaped by our culture as much as they are by the truths of God. Moreover, our correct actions and stated values may serve as a façade that covers the evil within us.
When Jesus spoke about being pure in heart, he was referring to a heart that was in sync with God. To be pure in heart is to live as one who has been touched by the grace of God and motivated by the values of God. A pure heart is a heart that is full of mercy because it has been changed by the mercies of God. It is a heart that dances not by its own tune but by the music played on the harp of God.
The human heart is not by nature pure. “The human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jer. 17:9 ESV). Starting from that depraved position the human heart can never be a perfect heart so long as it lives within the confines of mortal flesh. Yet the heart of man can be changed as the Lord purges our evil thoughts and builds a hedge around it to repel evil ideas. The human heart begins to be purified not by our own efforts but as we submit to God. A pure heart is a heart that is taking on a fresh flavor and a new consistency because it is being marinated in the love and grace and mercy and goodness of God.
That is the kind of heart that will see God. But this is not just an eternal reality. When a pure heart develops within us, we begin to see God now. We begin to see God for who he is rather than what we want him to be. As we begin to see God for who he really is we begin to develop his world view and vision. Seeing God in this way we cast off our selfish ways and put on the harness of servanthood. A pure heart looks at sinful humanity and sees people not as trash to be discarded but as persons who were created in the image of God and whom God wants to redeem. Looking on that image, broken as it may be, it sees God. Seeing God in this fashion those with a pure heart feed and clothe and nurture and befriend. Those with a pure heart realize that in taking care of one of the least of these they are ministering unto God. When you have a pure heart, you don’t wait until you get to heaven to see God. You see him now. God is everywhere. If your heart is pure your eyes can see him.