The Power of the Pure in Heart

Because your heart is the shrine for your affections, the crucible for your thoughts, and the home for your energies and motivations, it is the most vital organ of the body. Even in the physical realm, the heart pumps the life-giving blood through veins and arteries to sustain the body. Life and health, personality and productivity are determined by the condition of the heart.

But even more important is the spiritual arena in which the heart is also the key. The heart is the center of activity for the Spirit of God. You cannot ultimately purify your own heart. God alone provides salvation through the cleansing of your heart by the blood of Christ; you become clean because Christ removes the filth and impurity of sin. However, you must partner with Him in obedience to maintain the purity He demands for His dwelling place.

Jesus Christ is paradoxically both a part and the whole of this purifying experience. External actions will not suffice. You must never be so distracted with concern for your image that you lose His image. The heart (i.e., the spiritual nerve center) must become pure and clean in order to direct the corrective course that will point you to a godly lifestyle. You must develop a single-minded devotion to the Lord, loving Him with an unconditional and all-encompassing love. You must love Him for who He is and not for what He does for you.

You don’t achieve holiness by doing certain things any more than you cease to be holy by not doing certain things. Rather, when you become His, beginning inside your heart, He will bring such a transformation that His holiness will be made manifest in all you do.

~ Dorothy Kelley Patterson, BeAttitudes for Women (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2000), 166-167.