Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Well, I have tried to keep myself pure. I read the Bible every day and hardly ever miss a church service. I have been married to the same woman for almost 47 years; it’s been at least 45 years since the last time I got drunk; I quit living in a cloud of cigar smoke about the same time – do you suppose there might be some connection between those three things?
But – Jesus was talking about the pure in heart. Do good things that I do prove that the thoughts and intents of my heart are pure? Solomon asked: Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? The prophet Jeremiah said: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
So here I am: I want to be pure in heart, but I can’t make it happen. Jeremiah described my predicament many years ago: O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
The answer is found in the New Testament, but it is also there in the Old. David prayed: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
The path to preparing my heart so that I can see God must begin with God. The Apostle Paul described it this way: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
The Holy Spirit dwelling in us will do what we are otherwise incapable of doing. It is being spiritually minded that makes us pure in heart.