How To Have a Pure Heart

Written by on October 17, 2022

To understand how a pure heart works, you must know how we got here. In the garden of Eden, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was available to eat but was not to be eaten. When you consume something, it becomes a part of you, sowing its nutrients or junk into your flesh. If the tree teaches us anything, it is this: just because knowledge is available doesn’t mean it’s meant to be consumed. This isn’t a statement against education. There are just some things we would be better off not knowing about, and wisdom educates us on what to consume and what to reject.

What would it have been like without the knowledge of evil? Think of a world without judgment or preference. We would not like one thing more than another; we wouldn’t call anything better or worse than another thing but rather realize that each thing carries its own priceless beauty. We would celebrate the beauty in everything created by our Father. There would be no knowledge of good or evil, right or wrong, darkness or light.

The moment we ate some of the fruit of that tree, we fell into an obsession with right and wrong, and today the church has the corner market on judgment. We have grown fat on the fruit of the fall.

If you’re sitting in a group of people and a moral issue comes up, the group turns instinctively to the most religious person in the group because their religious identity demands they make a judgment call. We have made judgment a part of our Christian witness. We have interpreted righteousness as rightness, which is to mean that we are more right than another, and we judge ourselves by that scale.

When a person gives their heart to Jesus, things that were binding them begin to fall away as they surrender a lifestyle of sin. Surely, it’s a healthier way to live in many respects, but in letting go of sin, they often lay hold of judgment. This is just exchanging one lifestyle of sin, rejected by the church, for another lifestyle of sin that’s accepted by the church. Eventually the person realizes that they’re just as miserable and dead inside as when they were lost, and this is frustrating beyond words. The next step is to let go of religion, realizing that the grace of Christ continues to embrace them where the grip of judgment was suffocating.

When someone surrenders to the grace of Jesus Christ, they may for a time lose sight of the concept of right and wrong in favor of simply loving people and seeing past the issues in order to find the beauty and treasure of their true identity. You might look at a person engaging in a lifestyle of sin and simply see regular people who are searching for love and acceptance or struggling with addiction. Though the Bible calls certain activity a sin, you begin to desire to understand the motives of their heart and want to understand the process that led them to that point. Your desire is now to unite and not divide, to bring change in unity rather than cause war by creating enemies. You will be judged by others for that. It’s okay. Let that go as well. You understand where they are because it’s where you have come from. You begin to understand that embracing sin is often how people search for identity.

Titus 1:15 says:

“It’s true that all is pure to those who have pure hearts, but to the corrupt unbelievers nothing is pure. Their minds and consciences are defiled.”

Titus 1:15 TPT

This is a return to life before the fall. All you see is the purity and light where the Christians who seem the most righteous can’t see anything but darkness and sin. But understand, their judgment is covering a corrupt and defiled heart that is being crushed beneath the weight of self-condemnation and an inability to believe the best about others because they can’t find it in themselves. Externally, they live pious and easily offended lives. Don’t elevate these super Christians upon a pedestal. They are walking blindly and hurting inside, for unbelief is the weightiest of burdens.

You may question your own faith as you suddenly lose a sense of separating between right or wrong in favor of uniting all in love. This is where Paul brought understanding. “You say, ‘Under grace there are no rules and we’re free to do anything we please.’ Not exactly. Because not everything promotes growth in others. Your slogan, ‘We’re allowed to do anything we choose,’ may be true—but not everything causes the spiritual advancement of others” (1 Corinthians 10:23 TPT). Wisdom knows which things serve you and which things don’t.

Anything is easy to surrender when you submit to the voice of wisdom which tells you that while that activity may not be wrong, it doesn’t serve you in this moment. If it’s not beneficial or edifying, then let it go. Anything you cannot surrender has become your master. This process of learning to do life in grace brings tremendous understanding of perspective to your life in a world filled with people who are both slumbering in sin and awakened to grace.

Now read these Scriptures from The Passion Translation with me and I believe you will find a beautiful revelation.

Hebrews 12:14 says:

“In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward holiness, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”

Hebrews 12:14 TPT

Matthew 5:8 says:

“What bliss you experience when your heart is pure! For then your eyes will open to see more and more of God.”

Matthew 5:8 TPT

So does this mean we’ll see the Lord in heaven, on the throne, risen in glory? Perhaps. But here’s another way to look at it. Colossians 1:27 reveals the mystery of the gospel:

“Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!”

Colossians 1:27 TPT

Colossians 3:11 reveals that the apostle Paul saw:

“In this new creation life, your nationality makes no difference, nor your ethnicity, education, nor economic status—they matter nothing. For it is Christ that means everything as he lives in every one of us!”

Colossians 3:11 TPT

So then it’s not just about going to heaven to see God. It’s about being a living invitation for people to have an encounter with Jesus Christ. People only continue to live defiled when they don’t know they’ve been forgiven. Pure-hearted holiness is what gives you a heart to see the image of God in humanity all around you. As you begin to see with new eyes, your love, words, wisdom, grace, and declarations over them will be invitations for the likeness of that image to arise and shine.

Bill Vanderbush


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