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THE PURE IN HEART SHALL SEE GOD

Pure: Free from anything that adulterates, taints, etc.; unmixed...(websters)

Song of songs by Watchman Nee: "Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast dove's eyes." (1:15)

"...The eyes of a dove are truly beautiful, and the thought in view is that she now has spiritual perception or insight which makes her attractive to Him. From the standpoint of function the eyes of the dove can only see one thing at a time, and this signifies singleness of purpose. 'If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.' (Matt. 6:22)."

Matt. 5:8 (NKJV).."Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

What a promise! To see God! Those who's heart belongs to Him...they have been made pure through His blood. They have a promise of one day seeing Him.

But though that promise is something to be fulfilled in eternity, when we shall see Him face to face, I believe also, that those who have a heart that is pure...that is single in purpose toward pleasing God and desiring Him, unmixed, and untainted by desire for things in this world...they shall see God now, in a spiritual sense. They are the ones who will have spiritual insight and understanding of the Word of God and of His purposes and His way.

Do you love His Word of life? Do you feel grief when others twist, pervert, or misuse it? Do you hunger for His will and desire to do it above your own?

"If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God..." John 7:17

But how can we know our own heart or trust it?

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jer. 17:9

How can we be sure we have a pure heart, unmixed, not being polluted with our own flesh's desires, or the counsel or ways of this world, or false religion?

"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind..." Jer. 17:10 (NKJV)

First we need to pray..."Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Ps. 139:23-24 (NKJV)

We can never trust in our own heart...it will always lead us away from God. But God is able and willing to purify our heart, through the power of His cross, defeating the power of our flesh, until it is free from anything that adulterates or taints a true love and desire for Him alone, and what He desires. And that is true freedom! Ask Him to, and believe Him to.

If we have a pure heart we will love His way and hate every false way. How could we not, when we see His way truly, and understand it? How could we then casually compromise with anything that pollutes His wonderful, perfect, pure plan, brought to us by His own precious blood? Just as a bride, on her wedding day, wouldn't want to be presented to her groom with blue jeans and a sweatshirt, and hair uncombed, so we would not want to be dressed in anything but pure robes of righteousness that He has provided, if we have a pure heart that desires to please Him. Our joy is in His glory and His righteousness!

When we have asked the Lord to search our heart we need to come into His light...which is His Word...a lamp unto our feet...and let His Spirit examine, through His Word, our doctrine, our heart, all our ways. If we love His Word of truth above all else and yield to it, we will know His truth, and His truth will set us free from ourselves.

"Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way." Ps. 119:104 (NKJV)

If we have some greater love in our heart...something we hold in higher regard than His Word of truth, His Way, His love; then deception will be able to take hold of that place in our heart. You can be sure the enemy of our souls has a deception, a mixed teaching, an experience, etc. out there that will cater to your heart's desire.

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thess. 2:9,10 (NKJV)

But the pure in heart...those with unmixed, untainted, and unadulterated desire for God; those whith singleness of purpose in their heart for God; those with the beauty of dove's eyes...they shall see God. They are the one's who will find Him. They are the one's He will reveal Himself to.

Abba, search our hearts and see if it is pure. Cleanse us of anything that pollutes, and give us singleness of purpose in following only You!


FACE TO FACE WITH GOD

Ex. 33:11a, (NKJV)..."So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."

Ex. 33:17-18, (NKJV)..."So the Lord said to Moses, 'I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.' And he said, 'Please, show me Your glory'."

Ever since I first read this chapter about Moses and God and the relationship Moses had with God, I've hungered to know Him face to face as Moses did. Is that longing in your heart...to really know God face to face....to speak with Him as with a friend?

I remember in the early days of my Christian life praying earnestly..."God I want to know you face to face just like Moses. Please show me Your glory!" Then one day the Lord, by His Spirit, spoke to my heart in a way I was not prepared for and which stunned me. He said, "Are you willing to pay the price? Are you willing to give me total obedience as I required of Moses?"

I had been looking for a blessing for myself thinking my pursuit of God was good....and it is good to pursue God, but even our pursuit can be selfish...looking for our own blessing, or experience, but not realizing what it means.

I finally came to that place where I said..."Lord whatever the price, it is worth paying. Make me able to pay it!"

We cannot come face to face with God and go away unchanged. We cannot come face to face with God and go away with pride or selfishness in our heart.

God said to Moses in verse 20..."But He said, 'You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.'" (NKJV)

I read that and thought....it would be worth dying for!!

Ah.....there is a lesson in that. In order for us to really know God face to face...in a spiritual sense, we must die to our own way. We cannot see His face and live. That is....our flesh will not survive it. I hear much about people being in God's presence and the blessing of His presence, and I have also experienced that many times, but truly to come face to face with Him is to have all that we are and all our flesh, our pride, our self-centeredness exposed for what it is....that cannot stay in His presence and live. If you tell me you have been in God's presence and can lightly speak of sin or not care how you treat others or how you live, I would say perhaps it was not His true presence at all...but only some good feelings or emotions. God's presence will change you.

Isaiah saw the holiness of the Lord and he said..."Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Isa. 6:5 (NKJV)

Peter, James, and John saw the Lord transfigured before them on the mountain and the voice of the Lord come out of the cloud. When they heard it they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.

John, when on the Island of Patmos, was given the revelation and saw Jesus in His glory. He said..."And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead." Rev. 1:17 (NKJV)

Do you really want to see God? Do you really want be one with Him? Are you prepared for what that means in your life? Are you prepared to surrender all to Him, to be patient in all things, committing all your circumstances to Him, knowing that His hand is in control, to love the unloveable, to give of yourself when there is nothing to give and you yourself are in need, to say "yes, Lord" whenever He tells you to speak for Him or love for Him, or be His hand of mercy or compassion?

I once heard a song that has always stuck with me and the Lord asks me this often and I always want to sing the second have to Him but always do it with fear, realizing I cannot keep it myself, and realizing now more than I did when I first heard the song, just what the Lord is asking me to be for Him. Here is the song:

Will you be poured out like wine upon the alter for me? Will you be broken like bread to feed the hungry? Will you be so one in me, that I can do just as I will? Will you be light, and life, and love, My Word fulfill? (author unknown)

The congregation is to sing the first part and then answer with the second part:

Yes, I'll be poured out like wine, upon the alter for You. Yes, I'll be broken like bread to feed the hungry. Yes, I'll be so one in You, that You can do just as You will. Yes I'll be light, and life, and love, Your Word fulfill.

The first time I heard it as the congregation sang it back ever so nonchallantly, not really hearing the words they were singing I was struck with the seriousness of the commitment they were answering to and could not do it lightly. I prayed, "Lord, I want to say yes, but don't feel I am able!"

Over the years the Lord has shown me again and again in the situations in my own family when I ran out of love in myself, that He is able to fulfill it in me. Again and again, when I wanted to run away and just take care of my own needs, the Lord has asked me..."Will you be poured out like wine for me?" I've said...."Help me to Lord! I am so needy!!"

The good news is THE LORD IS ABLE! Yes! He is able to bring you into His presence and change you. He is able to burn away the dross. He has given you His Spirit if you are a believer. It is through His Spirit and His Word you are able to know Him face to face. It is the privilege of every believer!

Don't be afraid to seek Him face to face. Come to His Word and let it, as sharp as a two edged sword as it is, cut and divide and cleanse, and heal you. It will be painful to come face to face with Him at first. Yes...you will die! But it is worth the price, for all the blessing that will pour forth into and out of your life. Don't be afraid. The Lord is able.

Each time men of God fell at His feet in fear and awe at His presence, the Lord's answer was "Don't be afraid." He is able to bring life out of death. He is able to do it. You will find you are not, and even despair that you are not able, and feel hopeless, but that is only so that you can find out that He is able! Put your faith in HIM.

Dear Abba, Father, I ask today for Your grace for us to come and let You draw us to that face to face knowing of You, and submit even to death, that we might know You!


SEEING HIM IN THE DARKNESS

"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path, in the way in which I walk." Ps. 142:3

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You." Ps. 139:11,12

There are times in our walk with the Lord that everything seems dark around us. It may be circumstances beyond your control. It may be terrible grief, or pain. It may be confusion in which direction to go and who to listen to in your walk with the Lord. Maybe you just feel you've lost your way and no matter what you do you can't seem to find it again.

You feel that you are in a dark fog....where there is no light and no solid place to put down your feet.

Take heart dear Christian...God is there in the darkness...yes, right in the midst of it. To Him it is light. He still sees the way. He has not lost His way and is there guiding you through this darkness in your life if you will but take His hand by faith and ask Him to, and trust Him to do it.

During a very dark hour of my walk with the Lord I went to sleep one night and had a dream. In my dream, I was in a dark fog. I was floating. Each time I would try to take a step I would fall a little because there was no solid ground under my feet...nothing to stand on. I cried out, "Lord! Help me! I feel like I'm falling!" Then, immediately I saw God's hand reach through the fog and heard His voice say, "Here, take my hand." I reached out and took His hand and immediately felt secure. The fog was still there. I still could not see my way. I still had nothing solid under my feet to hold me up. But I wasn't afraid anymore because I was holding His hand. I knew that He could see the way and would lead me and all I had to do is hold His hand an let Him lead.

When I woke up, I knew immediately that the Lord was speaking to me to simply, by faith, take His hand and He would lead me through the fog. And in time He did. Soon the fog was gone, and I could see God clearly again. The way was made clear for me and He made me stronger in Him because of it.

I wrote a song during that time, about this dream....

I AM STILL CONFIDENT

Well I feel like I'm falling Lord
I can't see my way now
I'm lost in a cloud of confusion and doubt
Please take my hand Lord
And show me the way now
I can't find a solid place to set my foot down

But I am still confident of this
That I will see the goodness of the Lord
Yes, I am still confident of this
That I will see the goodness of the Lord

Even though I can't feel you Lord
I know your right here now
Seems like you've turned your face away from my prayer
But I'm gonna trust
That Your promise is true Lord
I'm gonna believe that You'll always be there

(chorus)

Now I see what You're saying Lord
You'll never forsake me
Faith is being sure of the things I can't see
When I can't understand
And I can't do anymore Lord
It's You alone that can bring victory

(chorus) by Ginny Larsen 1989

If you are in that dark fog now, put your confidence in His goodness, His love, His promise to you right now. He will never leave you nor forsake you and will lead you through the darkness safely.

Don't trust in your feelings to lead you, or wait until You feel His presence. Faith is not based on our feelings or our sight...but faith hopes in what it cannot see and clings to that. Jesus is the object of that faith.

If you are in darkness because of sin in your life, there is only one way out of the darkness again....to bring it to His cross and let it go, trusting Him to take it to His cross, and to lead you to His light. He is there waiting for you.

Abba, I pray for Your light to shine our paths today. Lead us through the dark valleys of our life when we can't see the way, and we can't find Your face. Give us the faith to take You by the hand and let You lead us!


KEEPING OUR EYES ON JESUS

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Col. 3:1-2 (NKJV)

"...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2 (NKJV)

"But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." Matt. 13:16 (NKJV)

There are so many things in our lives that take our eyes off from Jesus aren't there? Just when the Lord has shown us some victory in our lives and our "eyes see" and we are able to draw close to the Lord, something again draws our attention away. How do we keep our focus? What does it mean to "keep our eyes on Jesus?" This is a question my son recently asked me, who came to the Lord just last summer.

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matt. 6:22-23 (NKJV)

(Notes from NKJV personal study Bible 1990, 1995 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.) "The lamp and the eye stand for our intentions and choices. The person with a good eye focuses on God alone and is totally loyal to His kingdom. His life is full of God's light. The person with a bad eye makes other things the goal of his life. Because he has purposefully turned from God, his darkness is great."

It's Jesus Himself that has given us eyes to see and given us that light. It's He who is the author and finisher of our faith. He started that faith in us.....and He alone can bring it to completion and perfection. Notice how He continually draws your eyes back to Him every time you somehow become distracted?

We keep our eyes on Him by hoping in Him when all hope is gone. We keep our eyes on Him by trusting Him instead of our own ways or the ways of the ungodly. We keep our eyes on Him by going to His Word for our instruction, our comfort, our guidance, our spiritual life, and wisdom. We keep our eyes on Him through the daily communion of prayer, and praise, and worship.

God gives us that....He woos us, draws us, speaks to our heart about Himself, about our need for Him. Make sure when you feel His Spirit stir your heart that you do not turn Him away. Make sure you answer that call!

Won't it be wonderful when we are with Him in constant communion...always always in His presence? But even now He has given you a wonderful gift.....a gift of unbroken fellowship with Him! He has given every child of God His Spirit to indwell them. He never leaves you but has given you unbroken access to His throne! He is just as close to you as your own heart. If we walk daily in that faith and knowledge, it will have an incredible impact on all we do.

You know I've found that when I suddenly realize my eyes have been focused on the problem around me or the situation in my life, if I begin to think of God's attributes and worship Him for who He is and thank Him and just begin to praise and adore Him, that soon my focus is back where it belongs, my heart is yielded to Him, I can look into His Word and trust Him and cling to His Word and know that I know that He is working all things together for my good.

Going back to Heb. 12....we see the thing that we need to do in order to look unto Jesus....verse 1 says..."Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easly ensares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.."

What is the weight in your life that weighs you down or the besetting sin that seems to always ensnare you and get your eyes on yourself instead of Jesus and His promises and His way? I found in my own life that it was self pity. Oh it feels so good to feel sorry for yourself. Even feels better if you can get a few others to feel sorry for you too! But guess who the focus is? Me, myself, and I. Hard to recognize some of our besetting sins. We think of the obvious, lust, coveteousness, greed....whatever...but anything in your life that causes your focus to always turn to you instead of God is a weight or sin that ensnares and traps you and holds you so that you cannot see Jesus and the plan He has for you and the victory He has in store for you. It may even be your own introspection. Your eyes are on you instead of Jesus...the one who took all your sin to His cross and made you clean, if you trust Him. It is a weight that needs to be thrown aside. And you can do that by surrender and faith.

Surrender it to the Lord. He accepts your weakest surrender. And then trust Him to take it upon Himself to give the power for that surrender and to make it complete. It is not a matter of feeling but of choice. If we waited to "feel" like it....we would never do it! You may feel like a failure because you can't feel the surrender you need to make. But it isn't a feeling but a choice. Make the choice and trust....as a child trusts His Father.....He will do it.

He will give you eyes that see Him, He will be your light for those eyes to keep seeing Him, He will keep your eyes clean that they may continue seeing Him. He is the author and finisher of your faith!

Abba, give us pure eyes. Give us eyes only for You. Keep us close to Your heart and be our constant light always.


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