“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matt 5:8)
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:” Heb 12:14
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,” Ps 24:3
We are called to have a pure heart, and to be holy. I am not sure if these two are interchangeable, however based on the scriptures above each has as its reward an audience with the King of Glory!
The paradox here is that in order to approach God we must be holy which means set apart. And God is so holy and so set apart as to seem unapproachable. It has long fascinated me that God actually created angelic beings whose entire purpose is to hover before the throne of God for all eternity crying “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Both Isaiah and John the beloved tell us of these creatures that act as an eternal warning beacon. In the same way, when God decided to interrupt Moses' afternoon by showing up in a bush, the first order of business was to alert Moses that he was on holy ground.
At first blush this seems like it is intended to keep us away, but the fact is, in all 3 cases God’s intent was to draw each of these men closer. As they prepared themselves, got a glimpse of God unmatched holiness, they were drawn into His irresistible presence.
Approach the Lord! He calls us to His throne. He beckons the sons of man to come before Him. As we draw near, change will be required. The very journey toward His throne will work the heart purity required for entrance. As we approach, He will ensure that we don’t arrive in an impure state, and He will supply what is needed to allow us into His wonderful presence. He did it for Isaiah (check out Isaiah 6); He will do it for us.
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