Mid-way through the Beatitudes, Jesus introduces the blessing of a pure heart: seeing God! Seeing God. Why would that bless? How would our days be different if we were able to see God? Is the cost of the condition worth it? A pure heart?! Is it even possible to refuse every idol and seek God without taking detours?
Let’s consider this aspect of Christian character. I believe we will be excited about its potential and delighted with the return on our ‘sacrifices’!
Certainly a pure heart does not come easily. We are born with a sin-stained heart and simply living life generates significant sin pollution. Like blue sky to a city-dweller, seeing God’s glorious beauty seems like a child’s myth to we earth-bound people. This is not a 21st century phenomenon either; Paul discussed this tendency in Chapter One of Romans and he relates the fearful consequences of such an exchange.
God has revealed Himself in a number of ways; it is our choice to embrace His glory or not. The consequences will not be our choice, though; they are the natural results of God’s righteous character. It is God’s desire for us to see and rejoice in who He is. In fact, in Isaiah we are told that “His glory” is our purpose. Later in Romans (5:2), Paul encourages believers that the certain hope of God’s glory is cause for rejoicing. A character built on Christ will embrace the eradication of idols that block the view of God’s glory…and that character will be blessed and a blessing!
We creatures of earth have heart hungers which drive us throughout our lives. Even the best things of this world: meaningful work, secure homes or caring families will leave us hungering for more. We are created for the glory of the King of King and Lord of Lords. Nothing else will satisfy. Setting aside any idols we are tempted to serve, though, and seeking Him with all we are, is all that He is asking. Our glorious King knows we are made of only dust; He is not asking more than we can give. He is asking only what we can do that He can transform us into being and doing ever more!