The Hard Work of Heart Work

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Once, while sitting on a mountainside, Jesus told a crowd of people that the blessing coming from a pure heart would be the ability to see God.

The word pure, in reference to the heart, has a double meaning.  It is the heart that has been cleansed.  Sort of the idea of a refiners fire, the impurities have been removed so what is left is pure.  It is also the heart that is true.  A pure heart is a single focused heart.  Jesus also told the crowd “you cannot serve two masters.”  The pure heart is the heart that has had other affections removed so only one real love remains.  This is the heart that recognizes God. 

When I worked with teens, my team and I often played games to start our meetings.  One time we gathered four pairs of best friends and blindfolded half, giving them these instructions.  “Listen for your friends voice in all the noise and see if you can find your friend.”  The friend was instructed to speak these words in a regular voice and tone, “I am right here, come to me”.  Finally, the rest of the group was also instructed to say the same line in a regular voice.  ImageThe goal was to be the first to recognize the voice of your best friend and find them.  The two friends who won, when asked how they did it answered; “I know their voice anywhere, I love them so much.” 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see (hear, recognize the voice of) God.”  Matthew 5:8  

Okay Leonard, where are you going with this?  To be quite honest, I read these words recently and asked myself this question.  “How much of God do I miss because I settle for a less than “pure heart”?

For me, the issue is not sin.  Oh, it is not that I never sin, it is just that I understand how forgiven I am and that on the cross, Christ paid for everything I would ever do.  I trust fully that because of faith in Christ that in the eyes of my Heavenly Father, I am the “righteousness of God because of Christ.”  I know that for my daily struggles with sin, God has invited me to come quickly to him and confess my sin, that I might live in the reality of his already provided forgiveness and that in the words of the bible, my confession makes me pure.  In other words, because of Christ and the cross, Sin is easily fixed when the heart is willing.

My struggle is a little more subtle.  You see, I allow too many suitors for my affections.   My affection for me, my affection to be praised, my affection for comfort and security, my affection for new hunting gear, a new car, a little more money, and that is enough confession.  This culture sure knows how to woo my affections and to be quite honest; this culture doesn’t always have to try that hard.  I have missed seeing God simply because my pile of stuff blocked my view.  I have let anger, unforgiveness my own personal rights and even some of my relationships give me a divided heart, causing me to miss who God is and what he was doing all around me.  A wise person once said, “Staring at yourself sure does make it hard to see God.”

It is as if Jesus was saying, “Hey, in my kingdom, the ones that get it, the ones that know me best, recognize my voice amidst the other noises, understand what I am doing and want done, they are the ones who have a pure heart.  And if you will take the time to deal with your affections, apply what I have done to your sin, I will bless you with the ability to see God.”  ImageToday, I want to see God so I pray this from Psalm 51:10  “Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  That is enough for today, Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on April 26, 2013.

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