“Here is a heart condition God requires for the fulfillment of His purposes of grace. Purity of heart simply means a state where there are no hindrances to seeing God. The kingdom of the heavens is here, so there is no reason why anyone should fail to see Him, unless man himself puts up barriers.
It is not necessary to place a dirty article in front of your eyes to prevent you from seeing an object; a perfectly clean article will do just as well! The “clean heart” of the psalmist has to do with the removal of unclean things; the “pure heart” of the Sermon on the Mount has to do with the removal of all things, clean or unclean. Many have no right knowledge of God because they have numerous competing interests apart from God. Purity of heart corresponds to singleness of eye. It means that God is the exclusive object of attention. From such preoccupation, there will be no loss, “Thy whole body shall be full of light.”
– Watchman Nee
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light”
“My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean?”
2 Kings 5:13
How often we have missed God’s power in the simple things, the daily things, the seemingly innocuous things because of our own wrong thinking. The revelation of Christ is often found in a lad giving up his five loaves and two fishes; the widow simply pouring out the “little” oil she had on hand; the man putting forth his withered arm despite the scorn of the religious crowd; the woman breaking her prized alabaster box to worship Him lavishly.
“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
It requires a humble heart to see the glory of God in humble things. It takes a pure heart, transformed by the power of Grace, to see His opportunities all around us. His wisdom is buried in the mysteries of our own children, in the circumstances which come our way at home, at work, and in the mundane things of life. The Parables of Jesus were drawn from everyday examples filled with the power of truth. Though many heard, few understood their import. Jesus spoke in parables for He saw His Father’s truth in them. To Him, this world was filled with the Face of His Father everywhere He looked. The proud and haughty hearts of men saw nothing, heard nothing, and therefore continued in their blindness of heart.
It is the heart that determines our seeing and hearing of God. It is the “renewing of our minds” whereby we are able to “know the good, acceptable and perfect will of God”! Without these changes, men may read the scriptures, pray, and do many religious things, but the power of transformation ever eludes them. Life itself becomes mediocre and pedantic.
Paul was one filled with the joy and anticipation of ever learning through the varied experiences of life. He declared that the heavens, creation, and the wonder of nature were resplendent with the evident hand of God. He found glory in His sufferings, weaknesses, and weariness through God’s power and strength. He declared with boundless joy:
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
The humble heart sees God in the humble and simple things. The pure in heart behold His wisdom and hand in the things which beset them. Such things are learned by the Holy Spirit working within our hearts through the medium of obedience unto the purifying of our souls.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22
“Say NOT ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
The context of this scripture illustrates God’s call to the “present” truth of His life within us. Jesus, being weary and hungry, had sent the disciples into the city of Sychar for food and sat at the well waiting them to return. As He was waiting a woman came to the well to draw water. Within a few short sentences He had exposed the secrets of her heart, revealed Himself and shared the desire of His heavenly Father for true worshipers. The disciples returned with food and He responds, “I have meat you know not of”! The profound truth is, in the present doing of His will, we are fed, strengthened and empowered in the “today” of His Life. The hidden manna is reserved for those who see and participate with Him in the opportunities afforded us Today.
Let us take his admonishment, “say not” to heart. “Say not” sometime later God is going to bring in a harvest; “say not” sometime in the future God is going to use me; “say not” God will someday move through my life. It is the deception of our own procrastination which is unable to respond to present day opportunities! God’s answer to the impotency of such faith? “Lift up your eyes” for the fields are already white unto the harvest! Those who see in the Spirit know of the works, the opportunities and movings of God as present truth. Too many of God’s people walk in the impotency of an apathetic faith, not seeing the opportunities of NOW. Delegating everything to sometime in the future results in fruitless and barren living. It is in the NOW that we develop a greater faith for tomorrow’s works of faith.
Jesus confronted the faith of Martha regarding Lazarus her brother; a faith stuck in the past:
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
Her response to Jesus’ declaration “Thy brother shall rise again” also revealed a procrastination of faith to some future day: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. A true statement but one that missed the message that Christ wanted her to hear.
“I AM the resurrection, and the life…”
Too many of us live as if our faith is in a God whose name is “I will be” rather than His glorious name of “I AM”; the present God, the present truth and the present answer to the needs of fallen humanity around us. Of course, there are always more glorious things to come in God; such is the truth of His eternal plans. Yet, if I walk in His Spirit, I will see the glorious truth that there are fields, present tense, “white unto harvest”. The blindness of a “someday faith” deprives us of present truth thus robbing God of His present glory. It results in stagnation and spiritual death; ever waiting for some future thing while ignoring the bread and wonder of the present. The “hidden manna” falls every day to those whose eyes are open to see His fields of opportunity.
It is as we walk in faith today that we are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s faith.
“Sanctify yourselves (today): for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
The sanctifying work of today is the precursor to the beholding of His works tomorrow. Sanctifying ourselves today means we are set apart for His works, His will and the doing of the “present truth”. David, before he met Goliath, had a spiritual history with his God. The faith which emboldened him to confront Goliath had been developed in the past victories of faith; overcoming the lion and the bear.
“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…”
1 Samuel 17:36
Those who walk in the “I AM” of today will be prepared of Him for the greater conflicts which await us. Present Truth is God’s provision for tomorrow.
“Today if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts”
To those who whose walk in the present truth of our God the fields are “already” white unto harvest; there are (now) lives to be rescued, hearts to be encouraged, and lives to be transformed by the present wonder of our God.
“SAY NOT YE, there are yet four months, and THEN cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
“For who knoweth what is good for man in this life”
Can we see Him in the dreary paths of life; in the mundane and the seemingly insignificant matters of every day? Or do we, like the potter’s vessel, feel the hand of God molding and shaping the inner man into a vessel which honours and serves Him? The circular rote of daily life with its unspectacular events seems to come and go endlessly, yet within our walk with God there are unseen opportunities to please Him.
Do the seemingly small things pass our eyes without us seeing the hidden wisdom and purposes of God?
“And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had”
That poor widow had no idea that her small act of giving would be used for centuries to explain a great truth of the Kingdom of God!
In view of such things we are to be instructed to be diligent and faithful in every aspect of our life. Who knows what God may see and use for His Glory? It is crucial in the unguarded and trivial things of life that we remain true to our God.
“And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God”
2 Chronicles 14:2
“So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory”
Vision is the foundation of an individual’s walk. What a person sees determines what he pursues. True spiritual perspective can only be gained by the seeing of Him, to see His Glory with the eye of faith is the continuous need of the true disciple. It is the touching, tasting and beholding that brings tenacity and hope to all who walk the path of discipleship. In the “seeing” of Him we are afforded a clear estimation of this present world. Without this vital perspective we become entangled and compromised in our walk in this world. David knew well the susceptibility to temptation and the resulting sorrow of beholding other things. It is this perspective which brings peace and clarity to our walk. In Psalm 73, David found himself envying the ungodly their prosperity and ease in life. His perspective was causing his “steps” to falter and his heart to become bitter.
“But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked”
Had he remained in this deadly place of perspective his spiritual life in God would have been in grave danger. In subsequent verses (Psalm 73:4-16) we read of David’s conjectures, his fretting and his complaints to God. His perspective determined his thought life. His immediate cure was found in seeing God in His sanctuary!
“Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places”
We are no different. How vital it is for us to live and abide within the Sanctuary of His Glory. It is here that the faltering steps of the weary pilgrim are refreshed. It is here we see things as they truly are and the contagion of jealously and envy are purged from our wayward hearts. How good and merciful is our God.
The Sanctuary of God is the very anchor of our soul, the strong tower in which we may find refuge in every storm. His presence is our salvation; in the seeing of Him we are changed and empowered to perceive things clearly. May we ever find mercy and grace in our time of need.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”
“O God, you are my God; I will seek you diligently. My soul thirsts for you…”
The true pursuit of God is a proportional response to our seeing of Him. The diligent seeking of God in the life of David was a consequence of him seeing God in the sanctuary.
“Thus I have seen you in the sanctuary, beholding your strength and glory”
The land wherein David dwelt became a howling wilderness in comparison to the beauty and the glory he beheld in the Holy Place of God.
“…My soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you as in a dry and weary land without water”
It is the seeing of the wonder of God that transforms one from being at home in this world into a pilgrim of faith; a sojourner with purpose and a captive of the hope which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In beholding the Pearl of Great Price men and women are freed from the gravity and pull of this world. His beauty mesmerizes the beholder; it causes an abandonment of all other loves and creates its own quest and inertia. There can be no settling for the artificial and trite for the deep of God beckons His own with the simple cords of Love and Desire.
“Deep is calling to deep at the thunder of your waterfalls…”
The depths of His being calls out to the Christ within. The tendrils of His love grip the soul in the embrace of God Himself. Only the Love of God in Christ Jesus can ignite our hearts into such a pursuit.
“Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it”
“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, if one is not generated from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God”
The divine enablement to see the Kingdom of God is a consequence of regeneration in the human heart by the Holy Spirit. The depth of the work of God determines the “seeing” and perspective one has of the Kingdom of God. The Jews in their day expected the coming Messiah to lead them to victory over their Roman bondage. Their expectations were wrong as were their hearts. Within Christendom there are vast differences of what the Kingdom of God implies and what its implications are in personal lives. For most it is a concept that has relatively little influence upon their daily lives; it is some vague heavenly location where all who name the Name of Jesus go when they die. To others it may be an actual political kingdom to be set up on earth in some future dispensation. The teachings and concepts of the Kingdom of God vary according to the discordant voices echoing through the landscape of the Church.
Jesus in His earthly ministration of truth spoke more about the Kingdom of God than He did of any other topic. The Parables centered mainly upon this one pervading subject yet how little it is apprehended in our day.
The initial introduction into the Kingdom of God requires a transformative work of God within the human heart. It takes Grace; without a change in the nature of an individual’s life it is impossible to even be aware of its existence. This paradigm alone should shake us at the core of our hearts concerning its nature and its jurisdiction within our lives. Transformation is necessary to perceive it.
“God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”
There came a day when the sighing and words of Job ended. The vain and empty chatter of his “friends” had not dissuaded the man of God. His true mettle showed; though broken and alone he had stood in integrity. It is here, when the words of men fail, and the clash of religious arguments have proven futile to dissuade, that God appears to silence all. Job, whose life God held in high regard, was brought to new places of wonder. Through the vehicle of repentance, he found access to the higher ways of a priesthood in which his own condition was healed as he prayed for his friends.
“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends”
His friends who were rebuked for not speaking rightly of God were forgiven by the new found grace imparted into Job’s life. Through the fire the heart of Job had arisen to new places in God. The bitter contention accomplished the work and wisdom of God. The dross was consumed and his eyes opened; Job had crossed over from a life of hearingGod to the place of seeing God.
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee”