Read His Words Before Ours!
Blessed. It’s a word frequently used when someone receives a new house, car, job, or promotion. Often, it also describes births and weddings. You get the picture. But imagine thinking bigger and broader. Would you try with me?
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
So blessing is something we receive, but the full truth is much bigger and more significant! Being pure in heart is a blessing because we’ll get to see God. Glory!!
I remember reading two accounts of God showing the glory of His presence to a specific person. The first was in Exodus 33:7-23, when Moses, who had already experienced a physical manifestation of God’s presence via the pillar of cloud, asked God, “Please, let me see your glory.” (Exodus 33:18) The other account was in 1 Kings 19:9-13, when Elijah was fleeing from Jezebel and the Lord came to him in a whisper.
When I was going through a particularly rough time, these passages inspired me to pray, “Lord, I’m no Moses or Elijah, but would You please show me Your glory?” It was a bold prayer, to be sure. And after I prayed, I felt the weight of it.
I remembered hearing the teaching “sinful man cannot stand before a holy God,” and I was reminded of Leviticus 11:44, which says “you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy.” Similarly, in Genesis 17:1, God commands Moses, “I am God Almighty. Live in my presence and be blameless.”
But how can sinful humans lead holy, blameless lives? Romans 3:10 tells us, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” Taken alone, this verse would be discouraging. However, we can have a pure heart! But it is never of our own doing.
Psalm 24:5 shows us how to begin developing a pure heart. “He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Salvation is the first step toward a pure heart. When we accept God’s free gift of eternal life and repent of our sins, our hearts are made pure and cleansed from the stain of sin.
This purity of heart allows the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within us. Adam and Eve were able to be physically close with God because He walked with them in Eden. (Genesis 3:8) But we actually have God living in us! While we cannot see God on this side of heaven and live (1 Timothy 6:16), we can, and do, live with the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit.
Make no mistake, we will still sin. However, when we are maturing in our faith, we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us to be more like Jesus. Jesus was without sin ( 1 John 3:5-6 ), so for us to be like Him, we must repent of our sins. We are led to repentance both by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and by Jesus’ exemplary prayer in Matthew 6:12. This type of continual repentance is also part of being pure in heart.
And finally, our hearts are purified when we live in obedience to the Word of God. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 3:18, explaining how we are being made more like Jesus. This process continues in us until death or Jesus returns (whichever comes first). Daily, we live out the instruction of the Bible. Again, this is only possible by the work of God within us, through the person of the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament is packed with guidance for Godly living. One of my favorite passages is Colossians 3:1-17.
Verse 10 encourages us, “You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.”
This is the work of the Holy Spirit within us.
And verse 4 assures us, “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.”
This is the blessing for the pure in heart.
Hebrews 12:23 promises that in heaven, our spirits will be made perfect. Then, as “one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4), we will get to see God face-to-face. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to that day.
In the meantime, God continues to show me His glory in the beauty of nature, the kindness of His people, growth in myself, and the beauty and goodness of His Word, to name just a few.
And you, Sister? How do you experience the glory of God? As you contemplate your journey, where are you encouraged and emboldened by the Spirit’s purifying transformation of your heart?
Let’s hold tight to these touches of His presence as we allow God in us to keep our hearts pure until the glorious day we see Him face-to-face.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!