Sitting at the Feet of Yeshua
In my last post, we began looked at the how happy are those who show mercy. In this post, we will explore how happy are those who are the pure in heart.
“How blessed are the pure in heart! for they will see God.” ~ Matthew 5:8
Verse 8 teaches us about the importance of our heart attitude. It says, “I’ve got to let faith flow free through me.” Once again, Yeshua takes this lesson from King David. Psalm 24:3-6 says, “Who may go up to the mountain of Adonai? Who can stand in His holy place? Those with clean hands and pure heart, who don’t make vanities the purpose of their lives or swear oaths just to deceive. They will receive a blessing from Adonai and justice from God, who saves them. Such is the character of those who seek Him, of Ya’akov, who seeks your face.”
The heart is the center of one’s being, the throne of the spirit. The P’rushim were concerned with the outward observances of righteousness (Matthew 15:2). God is concerned with the inner heart (Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9). The heart needs to be cleansed (Psalms 51:10). Being “pure in heart” is a work of the Ruach HaKodesh in our lives.
This Beatitude demands that every person who reads it should stop, think, and examine him or herself.
The Greek word for ‘pure’ has a variety of usages, all of which have something to add to the meaning of this beatitude for us.
- Originally, it simply meant clean and could be used for dirty clothes which have been washed clean.
- It is regularly used for corn, which has been winnowed or sifted and cleansed of all chaff. In the same way, it is used of an army that has been purged of all discontented, cowardly, unwilling and inefficient soldiers and which is a force composed solely of first-class fighting men, similar to our Special Forces.
- It often appears with another Greek adjective that can be used of milk or wine that is unadulterated with water, or of metal that has in it no tinge of alloy. Unlike Ivory soap, this substance is 100% pure.
So, then, the basic meaning of pure is unmixed or unadulterated. That is why this beatitude is so demanding. It could be translated: “Blessed is the man whose motives are always entirely unmixed, for that man shall see God.”
It is very seldom that we do anything with absolutely pure motives. If we give generously and liberally to some good cause, it may well be that there lingers in the depths of our hearts some contentment in basking in the sunshine of our own self-approval, some pleasure in the praise, thanks and credit that we will receive. Maybe if we give enough, they will name something after us.
If we do some fine thing, which demands some sacrifice, it may well be that we are not altogether free from the feeling that others will see something heroic in us and that we may regard ourselves as martyrs.
This beatitude demands from us the most exacting self-examination. Is our work done from motives of service or from motives of pay? Is our service given from selfless motives or from motives of self-display? Is the work we do for Messiah or for our own prestige! Is our coming to services an attempt to meet God or are we fulfilling a habitual and social obligation?
Are even our prayers and our Bible reading engaged upon with the sincere desire to commune with God or because it gives us a pleasant feeling of superiority to do these things? Is our spiritual life a thing in which we are conscious of nothing so much as the need of God within our hearts, or a thing in which we have comfortable thoughts of our own piety? To examine one’s own motives is a daunting and a shaming thing, for there are few things in this world that even the best of us do with completely pure motives.
Yeshua goes on to say that only the pure in heart will see God. It is one of the simple facts of life that we see only what we are able to see; and that is true not only in the physical sense, it is also true in every other possible sense.
What does it take to become “pure in heart?” Let me suggest four steps that can really help:
- Wise Up. If you are struggling with the idea of faith, wise up! Realize that God has planted faith within the instinct of every healthy human being. Just as a healthy bird instinctively takes to the trees, just as a healthy fish swims in the water, so the healthy human being is inclined to be spiritual. By nature, we have to put our faith in something. Remember, God created the hole in your soul that only He can fill!
- Clean Up. Clean up any negative emotions in your life that might be blocking your faith and keeping you from “seeing” God. Worry, anxiety, pressures, or frustrations – all these can cause us to be blinded to the real work around us. Don’t trust your doubt. Doubt your doubt. Doubt is a subconscious defense mechanism fabricated by an insecure, guilty, or troubled mind to keep us from believing in a God who might make demands upon us we’re not prepared to meet. If there is a negative emotion within you that is blocking you in your relationship with God, clean up!
- Give Up. Do you want a life-changing experience with God? If so, wise up! Realize it’s instinctive and normal to be spiritual. Clean up! Wash your mistakes and negative emotions away through Yeshua’s grace. And the third step is: Give up – anything that may be hindering you. Perhaps there is something in your life that you will have to relinquish, with God’s help. If it is something that is blocking the birth of real faith, then you may have to give it up. If it is a choice between living and a bad habit – choose life.
- Take Up. We can believe God, we can see Him, we can catch His vision for our lives, and we can feel His spirit moving in our lives when we wise up, clean up, give up, and finally take up God’s call to do something great for Him. Do you want to have a real experience with God? Take up the execution stake of Yeshua and do something to expand His kingdom. One of the five purposes of a Messianic community is to minister to the needs of others. There are plenty of opportunities in any community to get involved and spread the Gospel.
So, then, this sixth beatitude might read:
“O how blessed is the man whose motives are absolutely pure, for that man will someday be able to see God!”
If you want a life-changing experience with God, a dynamic faith, here’s how you can get it. Ask God to take your life, to heal the subconscious memories. Ask Yeshua to forgive you of your secret sins. Then ask Him to take your life and show you how you can be a part of something beautiful for God! For faith combined with good works makes God come alive within you.
In my next post, we will look at how happy are those who make peace.