Blessed are the pure in heart- By Tracy Mueller
March 9th, 2015 | John Chandler
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
If Lent is the season to reflect on our brokenness and prepare for Easter, then what a powerful verse this is to nudge us closer to Christ.
To unpack the truth of this verse, it’s helpful to first ask what it means to have a pure heart. It’s easy to think of that meaning simply a “clean” heart – G-rated, Disney-approved, no gross stuff. Or at least none of the gross stuff society has decided is worse than all the other gross stuff.
But I think the way John Piper explains it is more meaningful:
Purity of heart is no deception, no double-mindedness, no divided allegiance … The aim of the pure heart is to align itself with the truth of God and magnify the worth of God. If you want to be pure in heart, pursue God with utter single-mindedness. Purity of heart is to will that one thing.
And that, honestly, is far scarier to me. I know I’m not supposed to let rage or greed or deceit build up in my heart. That’s a battle I’m prepared to fight. I can kind of build it up in my mind as ‘Don’t be such a jerk!’ Not a very intimidating command.
But to pursue God with utter single-mindedness? That’s a tall order. That’s an entirely other level of commitment. That’s like going to the bottom of the ocean in one of those claustrophobic submersibles when I’d really just prefer to lounge on the beach and let the waves wash over my toes.
And yet, there is an appeal in the simplicity. Pursue God and nothing else. Ignore all the noise and distractions and idols unworthy of your heart. If your allegiance is divided, you can’t possibly fully experience God’s glory and truth. But strip away what you’re not meant to pursue in favor of a heart purely devoted to God, and He shall emerge clearly before you. What a payoff!
As I meditate on this verse during Lent and beyond, I’m reminded of the New Year’s resolution I made this year to try and live more intentionally. To take action. Take responsibility. I cannot passively or accidentally pursue God with utter single-mindedness. It must be an intentional choice I make over and over and over again. And I will fail. But that’s ok. God will keep working. Piper again:
As the Scripture says in Acts 15:9, “God made no distinction between us and them, but purified their hearts by faith.” God is the one who purifies the heart, and the instrument with which he cleans it is faith.