For those in Christ, today’s promise is a moment by moment reality that often hides. Jesus promised that those who are pure in heart, will see God. None of us are pure in heart without the cleansing blood of Christ. None of us walking outside the Light of God’s Word will see His glory. Sadly, many of us are surrounded by His beauty and still miss it. Like Phillip, we cry out to see God, not realizing in Him we live and move and have our very breath! My prayer is that looking at this promise will help us see Him better. But beware, seeing God shakes a person to the core.
Beginning to glimpse how one sees God is easiest against the backdrop of those who did not. The nation of Israel missed their King because He did not look and act as they expected. Educated, indoctrinated even, by religious experts, they looked for God and did not see Him. The encounters of Pilate and Herod with Christ give us two more heart-breaking instances of men who saw God but did not see Him at all. Inklings of Christ’s uniqueness clearly flitted across the mind of Pilate. Yet concerns about his political career and perhaps derision for religious fanaticism clouded his view. Herod, possibly calloused by self-indulgent sin, simply desired entertainment. When Christ failed to amuse him, he blindly engaged in mockery and sent the King away. Seeing God demands that one release pre-conceived expectations and give Him the honor of revealing greater truths than the human mind can conceive.
Those in scripture recorded as ‘seeing’ God also saw themselves with a clarity that left them humbled. One does not see God and remain puffed up in themselves. Trembling fear is the only response in the face of the glory of God. Understanding our unworthiness and sinfulness in contrast to the high holiness of God heals our spiritual blindness and allows us to come to the Living Word. The Word of God lights the path to the One whose blood cleanses from all unrighteousness. Only hearts willing to receive the cleansing offered by the blood of Christ can ever enjoy the view of God’s immense glory. Jesus said no man has seen the Father; the accounts recorded in scripture are glimpses of glory but only Jesus reveals the fullness of God here on earth. The privilege of seeing God is reserved for those willing to see themselves without merit and wholly dependent on divine goodness. It is summed well by the words of missionary Jim Elliott: “He is no fool who gives what He cannot keep to get what He cannot lose. “ Our self-made thoughts, our self-made identities are only illusions. Let us relinquish all that we might receive Him.
As we go about this week, might our hearts rejoice that God entrust His glory to our ‘clay vessels.’ We are allowed to manifest Him to others. Any time--every time--we allow our concerns to cloud our view of Christ, we veil His incredible beauty to the world around us. Seeing God is an immense privilege; allowing others to see Him in us is a concept that silences me in its magnitude and awes me with His goodness.