Last night, I plopped down on the floor, closed my eyes, and asked God, “Show me where You want me to read tonight.” I flipped open my Bible to Matthew 5 and the Beattitudes seemed to pop out at me, so I decided to get past the familiarity of the words and look for deeper meaning. Sure, I know that those who are merciful will receive mercy, but what does this truly mean? What exactly IS mercy? WHY will they receive mercy? How do you BECOME merciful?
And then this verse jumped out at me:
“Blessed are the PURE IN HEART, for they shall SEE GOD.”
Yes, these words are already circled and underlined and boxed in a series of coded colors in my Bible, indicating that I have read this and supposedly understand it fully since I have analyzed it several times before. Well, obviously I am an arrogant, presumptuous Bible-reader, because I almost glazed over it altogether even though GOD was practically screaming at me, “There’s more for you to understand in this!”
But, hey, I finally hunkered down and analyzed it, letting GOD speak to me again about what it truly means, or else I would not be writing this right now.
Is it horrible that I’ve never before noticed the magnitude of what “SEE GOD” means? Well, looking at someone is far different than seeing them. Looking is more intentional. It is literally turning and deliberately viewing someone. Yet, isn’t it less powerful? For you can look at someone and FAIL TO SEE what someone truly is.
I truly believe that we can only experience GOD when strivings cease. For as long as we are “trying” to experience GOD, we are failing to understand the fact that GOD is too big to not be experienced. GOD comes to us. If we had any sort of contribution to this, we would be saved by works and not by faith alone.
Therefore, I think that the fact that this verse uses the verb “SEE” rather than “look” is significant; “look” refers to a direct action, while “see” indicates that HE placing HIMSELF right in front of us in a way that we cannot turn away from, for one glace of HIM is too magnificent to walk away from.
Isn’t this the problem in my life right now? For I LOOK at HIM every day. I get up every morning and go through my monotonous routine of “looking” at HIM in HIS word. But do I SEE HIM? NO– or else I would be passionately serving HIM with my every breath!
Yet, how do we SEE HIM without striving?
Well, I think that Deuteronomy 6’s command to “love the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” demonstrates that these four aspects of us are inherently interconnected.. These are the four entities are what comprise all of us— all of ME. Therefore, I can relate the other three to the reference of the heart in Matthew 5:8.
What, therefore, does it mean to be “pure in heart”?
It means KNOWING GOD with my mind.
It means yearning for HIM only with all of my soul.
It means running to HIM out of habit with all of my strength.
Being “pure in heart” means passionately pursuing HIM not from obligation, but rather from OVERFLOW OF JOY, UNCONTAINABLE PLEASE, and MAGNANIMOUS SUFFERING.
LORD, may I SEE YOU ONCE AGAIN.
And may I never again think I already know everything there is to know about a verse.