Seeing with your heart
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
This is what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, as one of the beatitudes. To be pure in heart is to have an undivided heart. The pure in heart are those who have been transformed and changed from the inside out. This happens through the power of God at work in our lives. The heart represents the totality of our being, who we are deep down. Jesus says that those who have had their hearts cleansed see God.
When I was young I thought the verse meant that if I loved God and had submitted myself to His will for my life then when I die I would see God. Certainly, that would be included in this verse, but the verse has a broader as well as deeper meaning. Jesus is saying that those who have a pure heart will see God right here and right now. They will see God at work in their daily lives. They will see God at work in the circumstances of their lives. You will see God in places where no one else sees Him. Having your heart transformed changes your vision!
When you come to faith in the Lord He allows you to see things that you never noticed before. You see that everyone is created in the image of God and you begin to see people around you differently. You see people not as problems to be solved but as people who God loves deeply. This insight modifies everything.
There is a story found 2 Kings 6 that illustrates this truth:
15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The servant is staying overnight at Elisha’s house and as he goes outside and is wiping the sleep from his eyes, he glances and sees that the enemy has soldiers, horses, and chariots all around them. They are surrounded with no way of escape. He rushes in to tell Elisha the horrible news. He exclaims “my Lord what shall we do?” He is in a panic. This reminds me of situations I find myself in from time to time. I want to ask ‘what are we going to do.’ Everything in all directions looks hopeless.
Elisha is very calm, not to worry friend, and calmly says “there are more on our side, don’t worry about it.” At this point, I am sure the young man thinks ‘has Elisha lost his mind?’ What does he mean there are more with us, does he not see the thousands arrayed against us? Elisha then prays a simple prayer: “Lord open His eyes.” Notice that he did not request that God opens the servant’s mind, but rather open his eyes. God answers the prayer and the viewpoint or vision of the man changes. He can now see the hills are full of angels and chariots of fire.
This is an Old Testament illustration of Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” When God touched the servant of Elisha he saw things that he had never seen before.
My prayer is that we will submit ourselves totally to God and allow Him to purge and cleanse our hearts. Then we will be able to see God everywhere.
May God touch your heart and your eyes today