“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 1 Cor. 4:5
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
I love, love, love to hear from the Lord, but sometimes what He has to say to me is hard. Like the day His Spirit spoke to my heart about my motives in something enormous in my life. He didn’t tell me my motives were all wrong. What He told me was that SOME of my motives were wrong. Some of my motives were godly. Some of my motives were totally not. Some were pure. Some were totally impure. And in His loving chastening, in His amazing mercy, He showed me I needed to repent from my WRONG MOTIVES so that my heart and motives would be PURE. He wanted to PURIFY my heart, to PURIFY my motives, and the only way to do that would be for me to confess my IMPURE MOTIVES as sin, to seek and receive His forgiveness, and to move forward in this area of my life with PURE MOTIVES. I thought I had done this long before, but the truth is that sometimes we repent from something only to discover some time later if we are not careful that we allow ourselves to become IMPURE once more. Even if not in our actions, then still we can do so in our hearts. I knew once I repented I would need to be very on guard, watching out for the impure thoughts which might try to come back, to make sure my flesh did not grab hold of them. If they tried to come back, I would need to guard myself against them in God’s strength to keep myself pure. And, if I let them slip in again, I would need to repent again and PURIFY MYSELF.
Is there an area of your life in which if you go before the Lord He will show you that your MOTIVES ARE MIXED? Do you have some godly motives with some ungodly motives mixed in? Let me give you an example. You want to take on a new job you have been offered because you know the Lord is leading you to that job in love and service to Him, but you also want to take that job so you can show off to your family, so you can bring attention to yourself, and so you can prove yourself to your friends. Another example? You want to start coaching your son’s football team because you are clear the Lord wants you to do so in order to share the Gospel with these young people and to pray for them and to help them learn about the Bible, but you also want to take on the coaching opportunity because you’ll be able to get your wife off your back, you’ll be able to avoid helping your other kids with their homework, and you can stop going to Bible study for the entire football season. See the mixed motives? Some godly, some not.
God isn’t just concerned with our actions. He’s also concerned with our hearts, and Christ’s followers need to concern ourselves with OUR ACTIONS AND OUR HEARTS INCLUDING OUR MOTIVES. When the Spirit of God shows us our MOTIVES ARE MIXED, we need to PURGE OURSELVES of the wrong motives and PURIFY OURSELVES by moving forward with MOTIVES THAT ARE PLEASING TO GOD. Once we PURIFY OURSELVES, we need to be watchful about not falling back into the temptation of ungodly motives and with the Spirit of God leading us forward strive to KEEP OUR HEARTS INCLUDING OUR MOTIVES PURE FOR HIM.