Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
The end of every year brings with it a resolve to do better in the next. Better job, better education, better eating, better exercise and better organized seem to top the list of changes that would make life. . .better. And, who doesn’t want better?
My own resolution last year came as a suggestion from God. I am certain He whispered in my ear one day while I was begging Him for guidance. I was feeling a little misplaced and lost. Life had changed, and I was stuck wondering where it was all leading.
Create in me a pure heart! Psalm 51:10
I was thinking more along the lines of a road map complete with destination and time of arrival, Lord.
Don’t worry, we’ll get there. . . together.
As usual, I would have preferred the answer I came up with, but the Lord turned things on end and beckoned me to follow. So, I did. I started praying for a pure heart. When others asked how the they could pray for me, I gave them the verse. Little by little, change began. It took time but it was worth the wait. You see, my misplaced feelings were my own doing. I had lost my trust in God and was paying the consequence for it. But, regardless how I landed in the mess, I still wanted a tangible, turn by turn, written down in black and white guide with a compass to show me the way out. God just wanted my faith to be purely in Him.
As I mulled over what a pure heart would look like, the several definitions came to mind.
This was where I started at the beginning of the year. I had just come off a difficult time in ministry. Relationships had been broken. Gossip had become common practice, and an unloving attitude had developed. I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits. What I thought it a ‘circumstance problem’ was actually ‘heart trouble.’ Mine had been muddied up with my own involvement in the situation and the desire to protect myself. Walking away would have made no difference. The suffering would have just followed me home. And in the midst of my frustration, there was that Voice challenging me, “What about the others?”
Yes, I know, Lord.
My mission had not changed regardless of the dirt that seemed to be flying. A contaminate free, untainted heart was what I needed to walk through the difficulty. Each time I thought of the women I served, it reminded to live a life worthy of your calling. The verse from Second Thessalonians 1:11-12, goes on to say God will fulfill by His power every desire for goodness and every work of faith. . . My actions would need to be determined by my calling, and not tainted by hard feelings or irritating situations. Together, God and I could live that worthy life. Without Him, on my own, I didn’t have a chance. He was the One who brought the power to make things happen. My part was cooperation. Working in tandem, we could achieve goodness and works of faith the calling required.
Pure: in tune
With all that had gone on, I had gotten out of tune with God. The melody of life was all off. When two singers try to dominate the song, it sounds horrible. People tend to cringe and cover their ears. Not a good thing for someone who wants to be an influence rather than a disturbance.
To get back in tune, I would have to listen carefully and make adjustments to match my spirit to God’s. Faith again would play a part in making my heart pure. I had to trust where God was taking me, then, pay attention and conform to His ways. Again, it was my willingness and His strength, that together would develop into a pleasing harmony that would once again flood my soul.
This may be my favorite. It certainly is the most beneficial. When something is saturated it is fully satisfied; filled completely; loaded to capacity. I can think of no better state for my heart. And, if I am to navigate through the uncertainty of life, then I want to be soaked through and through with God. I cannot live an untainted, in tune life any other way. If He occupies my thoughts and His ways become my ways, there is no room left to get dirty or off key. I want to be steeped in God until His essence and qualities are all you can see. That’s going to take faith. God was right to insist on His way in this. If I continue to follow His resolve, life will not just be better. It will be the best one I can have.
But when Jesus turned and saw her he said,
“Have courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well.”
Over the next few weeks, I am going to explore some of the other requests—Renew My Spirit, Restore My Joy, Give Me Your Words, Open My Mouth— found in Psalms 51, a book that speaks to building a relationship between God and man. I can’t wait to see where this new year will take me. I hope you find purpose in yours.
Happy New Year!