by Kathi Pelton

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" Matthew 5:8

For the past number of months this verse has been quickened to me again and again. I began to ask the Lord, "Who are the 'pure in heart?'" and like all questions with an obvious answer He replied, "Those with hearts that are pure."

Sometimes, we try to make the obvious more mysterious than it is. The true question should have been, "Lord, will you give me a pure heart?" But, since God is always faithful and knows our thoughts before we say them, He began to work on my heart. Like most people, I don't enjoy stress, conflict, or life's difficulties, but I have found them to be the very thing needed at times to bring about a hot enough fire to purify my heart. In times of great difficulties, it seems that both the best and the worst of us will surface quite quickly.

Allowing Life Pressures to Produce Purity

"Often stressful or difficult times will surface within us places of distrust, disappointment, or hope deferred."

I have been going through a very personal journey that I would like to share with you. In this journey, I am sharing those things that had entered into my heart and blocked my view of seeing God.

Within the past six months, many changes and challenges have occurred. First, our family obeyed the Lord and left our ministry in Canada to return to California, without really knowing why. We made the international move, and my husband returned to the marketplace. I continued to travel internationally while home schooling two of our kids. Then things began to happen: I developed a lung problem that left me very ill for two months (I'm still recovering), a dear friend of ours committed suicide, and three weeks ago, our house burned. May I just say that the fire has been quite hot and the purification process is moving along quickly.

Remember that not all impurity is moral sin or things of that nature. Often stressful or difficult times will surface within us places of distrust, disappointment, or hope deferred. God is very concerned with how these things block our view of seeing Him clearly. These issues blind our hearts as much as any moral sin (which is usually a result of these root issues not being dealt with).

For me, our move surfaced areas of my identity that were not fully founded in Christ but in personal accomplishments and man's opinions of my work. Home schooling surfaced areas of perfectionism that would like to control me and those around me. Our friend's suicide surfaced areas of disappointment, guilt, and hopelessness that still had remnants in my heart. And finally, our house fire surfaced places of judgment that had entered my heart regarding the body of Christ.

Roots That Blind Our Spiritual Eyes

You might be wondering why the fire would bring up such judgment in me towards the body of Christ; you would think it might bring up fear or panic, but judgment? Here's why:

In the past number of years in ministry, I have watched as many dire needs were unattended to and it began to really sadden me. I saw single moms struggle day after day while congregations would give thousands of dollars to a prophetic minister passing through. This is certainly not a bad thing to give to ministers; I was just saddened for these faithful people who are unknown to the masses, who felt alone, who struggled to make ends meet, and who are often the ones who give the most!

Another thing that began to leave me disillusioned was that for four years, my husband and I were the directors of a house of prayer, and we saw many "prayer missionaries" come through our ministry, and they gave all they had to pray for the nations and the lost, and yet, many of them, could barely afford food or basic needs because they were not able to raise financial support. Often, missionaries were told that their home churches couldn't financially support them, but would be praying for them.

Though it was not right to become in any way offended over these things, I noticed that they began to cause a judgment to take root in my heart, and I was beginning to see the body of Christ through that judgment. I had not made a conscious decision to judge, but these thoughts came in quietly, a little at a time, until they took hold. It took our house fire and the response of the body of Christ to shake me out of this.

Because I was traveling a lot during our move back to California and things were hectic, my husband and I carelessly neglected to get "renters insurance" on the house we leased. When the fire occurred, all of our contents were uninsured. About an hour after the fire and the loss of our home, I walked to my car and just wept, crying out to God for help.

And He did! But how did He help? It was through His beautiful body. People from different churches, cities, and even other nations heard of our fire and sent help. Within hours, people were surrounding us with basic needs like shelter, blankets, food, and water. Our oldest daughter lost everything in the fire, and people took her shopping and bought her brand new clothes.

But they in His body didn't stop there. They tirelessly worked through the remains of our smoke-filled house, they gave sacrificially, and a Christian-managed fire restoration company donated all of their services to repair damaged items (this is very costly). Everyone did what they could do and far more.

God's Kindness Leads Us To Repentance

"The reason that the 'pure of heart' will see God is because there is nothing blocking their view."

Remember the Scripture that says, "It is the kindness of God that leads to repentance?" (Romans 2:4). This was truly the case for me! I had become disappointed in things that I had seen, and I lost sight of the true beauty of the body. But, with these amazing acts of kindness, I was led to repentance and could once again "see God" as I watched His body be His hands and feet.

The reason that the "pure of heart" will see God is because there is nothing blocking their view. When a judgment (or impurity) enters into our hearts, it is as though we put bad lenses over our spiritual eyes, and we view everything through that judgment. It will blind us from seeing the good things and cause us to see all that is wrong.

As times get harder and world events become more severe, it is of great importance that we have a pure heart so we can see God through it all. Otherwise, we will become disillusioned. But, if we can see clearly, through hearts that have been made pure, then it will be the finest hour for the Church... for we will SEE GOD!

Search Me and Know Me God

Begin to ask God to search your heart and to surface all the impurities so that you can see Him clearly. Hopefully, you won't have to go through what I have gone through. I tend to learn through experience; I'm more of a life student than a classroom student.

God is kind enough to bring us to repentance so that we will not be overcome by life's circumstances in the days to come. Areas like unbelief, hope deferred, anger, or bitterness will all contaminate our hearts causing us to be blinded from the Spirit of Truth, and we will begin to believe lies. We must see God to discern the times, seasons, and events of our lives clearly.

Pray this prayer with me:

"Lord, search me and know me. I long to have a pure heart so that I can see you clearly. I ask that You would now come into my heart with Your kindness that leads me to repentance, and reveal every part of my heart that has been contaminated by sin. Lord remove every trace of bitterness, disappointment, unbelief, judgment, and hopelessness.

Cleanse my eyes from all the lenses that have caused me to see You and Your body in a distorted way. I want to see You, God! I want to have a pure heart and to walk in a spirit of truth in all my ways. Thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness, and kindness that once again, will lead me to repentance. In Jesus Holy Name...Amen"

Here are some Scriptures to meditate on as you ask the Lord to take every bad root out of your heart:

Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God."

Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord isn't really slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent."

2 Timothy 1:9, "It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan long before the world began--to show His love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus."

Titus 1:15-16, "Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled."

Colossians 3:12-15, "Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you.

Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others, and the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful."

May we all see God!