Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Yesterday I said this may be the most frightening of the blessings. Some of you may have wondered why. For me I have seen glimpses of how my heart truly is, not how I would like it to be. It is not a good picture.
In Ezekiel 8 there is a prophecy about a hole in the wall of the temple which led to a secret chamber where all of the elders were worshiping all kinds of abominations. In verse 12 God says to Ezekiel;
And He said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, each man in his image room? For they are saying, Jehovah does not see us; Jehovah has forsaken the earth.
Adulteries, murders, robbery and all sorts of covetousness, as I in stillness looked at what sort of things I hide in my heart, these are things I found. At times I am successful at removing those things from my heart, but there is still a place for them there, sort of like a shelf with a label that says what belongs there.
I suspect that a pure heart is one where not only the abominations cannot be found, but where there is no place for them.
Imagine seeing a beautiful woman and immediately your attention is drawn to her face looking for signs of virtue, and hope, no matter how she is dressed. Imagine seeing a person obviously ruined by sin and rebellion and immediately praying for grace for repentance. I could come up with more illustrations but hopefully you can see where I am going.
It is my heart that directs my attention. It is my heart that produces my immediate, automatic responses.
Eternal ever present, all knowing God, you know my heart. There is nothing that I can hide from you, and yet by your spirit you call me to yourself. Thanks and praise always belong to you. Your will is that I find grace for repentance and for full salvation. You are the only source of grace; I must cling to you. Amen
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalms 51:10-12)