9.22.14 6:06 am – Family room chair.
Gracious Father, Thank you for this day. I ask that you kep me intellectually honest, emotionally open, and walk with me today as I reflect on this devotion.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (NIV)
- Wretched are those with impure hearts, for thew will not see God.
Today’s Beatitude seems pretty straight forward again. Most of the translations are the same, a couple translate “pure” as “clean”. I feel like I have a lot to say and reflect on this verse.
To be pure in heart isn’t to have a low LDL and clean arteries. The heart in Biblical language is the center of our being. Our thoughts, actions, emotions, and courage all emerge from it. Everything we do flows from it, and it is to be guarded above all else (Pr 4:23). To be pure is to be spiritually clean, to be sanitized by God from the contaminating influences of sin.
Working in a healthcare setting; I can see sin as a lot like bacteria. It can creep into clean and sterile procedures, even if we are careful and sanitize all equipment. Sometimes the patients bring it in, sometimes something was missed in cleaning procedures, and sometimes the bacteria is resistant to our techniques of purification. Regardless of how it gets to us, it only takes one microorganism of a few micrometers in size to spread throughout our body, and to wreak havoc on our systems, leading to sepsis and death.
To be pure in heart is something I struggle with daily. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” comes to mind. I think I noticed the effects of this first when I made the switch to Christian radio when I was driving. I use to be very aggressive and on the verge of road rage. When I made the switch I essentially turned driving into rolling prayer. I am not suggesting Christian music has magickal powers, but that it changed my focus while driving. I still get angry, but it is not as often and does not last nearly as long as it did before.
Still, there are other environmental triggers that cause me contamination. It could be a magazine cover at the gas station that causes me to look a little too long, a movie or TV show that may cause impure thoughts, even an internet advertisement or suggested video that I struggle not to click. There are so many personal triggers that I am tempted to move to the mountains and homeschool my children! But I feel that would be sin too! If I disengage from secular society and pop culture, I am not in a position to make disciples. It would be like speaking in tongues without an interpreter. I feel it is important to engage people from their own culture and language. The difference is not which people or situations I interact with, but how I interact with them. And here is the heart of my personal struggle. As long as I am engaging a contaminated culture there is the risk of cross-contamination.
No sin, however, can contaminate the Cross. Christ is like the antibiotic that no sin is, or will ever, become resistant to. It is only through Him that my heart will be made pure, and only through Him that I will see God.
At this point in my walk with Jesus, I recognize some of my triggers. But unlike before I knew Him, I am now able to change my focus. To stop, drop, and pray when I feel those embers burning. I know there will be a day when they have no effect on me, but until then I will struggle. In this life, sin will still enter my system, but by the inner work of the Holy Spirit and keeping my mind on things above, I know it’s effect is only temporary.
Lord, thank you for this time of reflection, I pray that you will continue to work in me and change me. Purify my heart, help me to recognize and disarm my sinful triggers. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!