Jesus said that the pure in heart will see God (Mat. 5:8). What exactly does He mean that we will “see God”? Yesterday, we examined Exodus 33. At the end of that chapter, Moses asks to see God’s glory. God permits Moses to see His “back” (Exo. 33:23), but says to Moses, “My face shall not be seen.” Earlier, God had told Moses, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exo. 33:20). So Moses was permitted to see some manifestation of God, but he didn’t see God’s face.
John, among others in the Bible, reminds us that “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12). So how will we “see God” when we purify our hearts? Here are three things the Bible tells us about those whose hearts are pure.
1. God promises that the pure in heart will see Him.
1 John 3:2 says that, while we do not currently know what we’ll be like in eternity, we know that, when Jesus appears, we shall be like Him and we shall see Him as He is. Hebrews 12:14 reminds us that those who pursue peace and holiness will see the Lord.
2. Purity of heart singularizes our focus.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).
It’s interesting that he likens unrighteousness – those with impure hands – to double-mindedness. That’s why Jesus said that we can’t serve two masters (Mat. 6:24). Our allegiance can’t be divided. We have to choose: God or whatever else.
3. Purity of heart helps me to see God’s hand in my life.
Because of his righteousness, Joseph was blessed by God. Remember toward the end of Genesis, when Joseph has revealed himself to his brothers? He says, “you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20). Joseph was able to see God’s hand working in his life. One who does not have a pure heart that is seeking God will not see this.
In Romans chapter eight, Paul says that his hope in God helped him to maintain a proper perspective on life’s difficulties. He says that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (verse 18), and “all things work together for good to those who love God” (verse 28).
Let’s wrap it up: When your heart is pure, you’ll look at life – and death – differently. Everything is about God. I labor now so I can see Him then, and, as I labor, I see His hand with me all the way. The pure in heart will truly see God.
This is a partial transcript from my weekday podcast, The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ created in each of us as Christians. A new episode is available each Monday through Friday on The Light Network. Click here to see all of the episodes.