Saturday, November 07, 2009

Keeping the heart pure

"If the pure in heart see God, then tell me how to have a pure heart because I want to see God."

Let me start out by emphatically stating that the only way we can ever have a pure heart is to invite Jesus to reside, rule, and reign inside our hearts. He alone is the essence of purity and holiness. So, there’s no hope for a pure heart without God.

But know that in Christ, we now have the ability and responsibility to actively pursue this progressive work of developing a pure heart. “I can do all things through Christ…” My heart can be purified. I am called to "work out my salvation with fear and trembling.” I am called to work on my heart.

Our responsibility in our relationship with Christ is to give our heart to Him every day and not give it to the world. We must build our affections for God and allow the affections for this world to be cut off. How do we do this? Scripture clearly points to some things that must be present in the life of one whose heart is being purified. These are often called the spiritual disciplines. Don’t discount them, because they are used powerfully by the Holy Spirit to transform us and to purify us. Here they are...

1. Repentance: “Thinking differently about things.” Thinking God’s way about stuff.
“8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Phil. 4:8
2. This involves RENEWING OUR MINDS: We renew our minds by reading the Word of God – the Bible. When we read God’s Word, we fill our minds with life and with truth – with purity instead of filling it with the filth and follies of this passing world.
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed (be purified) by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
3. Prayer & Fasting: Communing with the Holy One purifies our hearts. When we pray and when we fast, our focus is on God and nothing else. This strengthens our heart. In fact, scripture tells us it is so important that we should, “pray without ceasing” – 1 Thes. 5:17. Always be in a state of prayer (communing with God); allowing God to be involved in our everything. We need to wake up praying, not planning our busy day – Praying. It is no accident that I see God and His will so much clearer when I am purposely focused on Him during times of intense prayer and fasting? Could it be that my heart has undergone a cleansing from other affections? Could it be that I have just taken a spiritual bath and come to a place where my heart has been rinsed of gunk that had attached itself?

4. Fellowshipping with Christ Followers: You have probably heard the saying, “you are who you hang out with.” This is so true. Hanging out with negative people will suck the life out of you and you will become negative and critical. Likewise, if you hang out with people who are passionately pursuing God, you will find yourself passionately pursuing God. You will find your heart being purified and you will see God and you will be Happy in God! AMEN!
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. - Proverbs 13:20
5. Let me add one more thing: Ask God for help. Not just once, but daily. Listen to King David, the man after God’s heart,
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10
Tell God you want the other stuff that is trying to pull your heart away from Him to be cut off.

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