A foundational scripture for to hold close to the heart is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
A pure heart is simply a heart that values GOD above all else. When you understand the fear of the Lord, you realize that a pure heart is not only obtainable, but it is the outcome of accepting the Truth. Truth declares that everything good and pertaining to life comes from GOD. So, it is in order that GOD becomes the most important and most valuable element to our life. This is the essence of the fear of the Lord. As you begin to know GOD, you find that He has a beauty that is captivating. The Lord gives of Himself so liberally and graciously. He is so inexhaustibly considerate of our lives.
If you were very fortunate as a child, you had parents, or a parent or some other care givers present in your life who walked with GOD and were able to share with you the knowledge of GOD’s love from their intimate experience. If you were not so fortunate like me, you had little to no exposure to meaningful knowledge of GOD, and it took a lot of toil and pain to bring you to a place where you turned to GOD for life. I sang songs as a child like Jesus loves the little children and He has the whole world in His hands, but I didn’t understand His love or how His hands operated. When you look at the chaos in the world, and possibly surrounding your own life, it can be difficult to see His overarching love, grace, and consideration. However, if you are reading this article, it is evident that He is seeking you to empower you to live a greater life. We do not get exposed to the light of the knowledge of GOD without divine intervention. This age is ruled by oppressive spirits of darkness that would hold us captive.
“31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” (John 8:31-33 NKJV)
The response of the Jews in the passage cited is typical of those unaware of their current afflictions due to being blinded by darkness. You don’t know what all you don’t know until revelation comes. Christ was revealing the light of Life to these Jews, but they didn’t realize that they were dead in sin. They didn’t realize that they had been taken captive by pride and self-righteousness which was holding them back from the life of GOD. There is a difference in hearing the truth and knowing the truth. It is knowing the truth which makes you free. Knowing the truth means that after you heard the truth, you internalized it as a reality revealed from GOD and integrated it into your life to displace all things counter to it. Receiving truth in this way leads to liberation. Many people have been exposed to the truth but were not ready to accept it as a word from GOD. The heart of a person is only affected by what the person treasures or values.
Due to the rejection of the light of truth, there is so much darkness in the world today. You don’t have a sense of the degradation of life you are experiencing until the light of truth reveals what real living looks like. There are many images cast before us depicting “the good life,” but these images are mostly from the powers of darkness working to hold us captive for exploitation and other evil purposes. One lives within the bounds they have excepted as reality. If Satan can get you to believe his lies regarding your life, he can restrict the bounds in which you live to the point you are practically dead. Imagine a lion living timidly in burrows and eating insects as a meerkat. The gospel was published much earlier than the story of The Lion King. The story of The Lion King is one that borrows from the true narrative of fallen man.
We are born into a spiritual battle between good and evil, light and darkness, and we become casualties before we are even aware that we are in a fight for our lives. People often accept the wounds and deformities from this battle as normal because everyone around them are often casualties as well. We don’t see the truth of our afflictions until we are exposed to the light which comes from GOD. For instance, I once thought that sexual play was the natural progression of a boy and a girl when they were fond of one another. This mind set came from the sexual activity I had with adolescent babysitters beginning when I was age five. By the time I became a young adult I had an inordinate affection for sex which had spiraled out of control. I cried out to GOD for help and my deliverance began with the revelation that the sexual activity that began in my life at such an early age was actually abusive acts of molestation. Those adolescent girls who abused me were most likely abused themselves. I was a very young casualty of the evil darkness in this world. I kept those activities hidden from the elders around me like every other naughty thing I partook of as a child oppressed by darkness. When the circumstances surrounding me started to become unbearable, I cried out to GOD, and He responded with mercy and truth. I thank GOD for hearing my cry and sending the light which exposed the root of my afflictions. Once I began to see that Satan manipulates us to destroy one another, because GOD charged man with authority in this world, I was able to forgive those young girls and I also forgave myself. The work of restoring my soul had begun.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes. 72 The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of coins of gold and silver. (Psalm 119:71-72 NKJV)
The pain in my life awakened me like a sharp pinch on the skin to someone daydreaming. I awakened to the reality that there were cunning powers of darkness seeking to destroy me and my best hope was seeking salvation in the light of Christ. I wasn’t open to the salvation offered by GOD until I realized my life was as a battered ship, sinking into the depths of deep darkness, and I needed the breath of His Spirit in the light above to live. My focus shifted from everything else to Christ the Savior. This singular focus on GOD for life broke any dependencies to hold onto the things of the old life which were pulling me under. I was ready to experience life in spirit and in truth. I was ready to seek GOD with my whole heart.
27 And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:27-29 NKJV)
No matter how far we have wandered from GOD, nor how distant He may seem from us, if we will purify our hearts by making life in GOD our only treasure, we will find Him and the riches of His mercy and truth. However, if we are seeking both the deceitful riches of this world and the promise of life in GOD, then the truth will be unfruitful.
18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19 NKJV)
Christ taught us that unbelievers are laden with the concerns of existence as if the Heavenly Father will not provide, but the believer knows that as long as the Lord is our Shepherd, He will lead us into green pastures and make our cups to run over. It is GOD’s good pleasure to give us all things pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him. He knows what we have need of before we even pray, and He will not withhold any good thing from us. Let us never give ear again to the accusations against GOD generated by Satan. YAHWEH is faithful and true, and He has loved us with an everlasting love. Believe the testimony of Christ without wavering and seek Him with your whole heart.