“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
“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
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8
Sometimes on the surface it looks like I’m doing the right thing. But the more I follow Jesus, the more I know Him, the more I am loved by Him, the more I love Him, the more I learn from Him and of Him, the closer I am to Him and Him to me, the more the Spirit of Christ shows me the state of my heart. He shows me when my heart is pure for Him. And He shows me when my heart is not.
See, the Lord sees our hearts. Our thoughts. Our feelings. Our motives. Our intentions. Our everything inside and out. He knows us perfectly and completely. And sometimes when on the outside I may in fact be doing something that is right, the Spirit of God shows me my motives are not pure. And God desires and deserves pure actions AND pure motives. He calls us to purity. He calls us to holiness. He calls us to godliness. He calls us to right lives. Right actions. Right hearts. Purity of heart. Holy hearts. Holy living. Righteous living. Right living. Living that glorifies Him. Inside and out.
Examples. When we give, it should not be with the motive of getting something we want from someone. When we do something nice for someone, our motive should not be to show off, get attention, brag about ourselves, think we’re better than everyone else, etc. We shouldn’t do good things to control and manipulate people. The examples go on and on.
Does this mean we shouldn’t do right stuff? Godly things? Take positive actions? Do right? Act right? No! We SHOULD do good things when those things are God’s will. But when the Spirit of Christ shows us our hearts are wrong, and our motives displeasing and dishonoring to Him, we need to repent of the wickedness in our hearts. We should purge the sin from our hearts. We should seek God’s forgiveness. We should turn away from the unholy motives. Get rid of them! We should do the right thing WITH the RIGHT MOTIVES. With the RIGHT HEART. For Christ’s sake. For God’s glory. For the love of Jesus! And for the love of others.
Not only do we need to do this to glorify God, but we will be blessed in so doing. In living the way God intended. Faithfully following Jesus. Believing in Jesus as Lord. Following Him as Lord. Right down to purifying our hearts, cleaning up our motives, for God’s sake!
Don’t just do the right thing as the Spirit of God leads you forth. Make sure your heart is pure, friend. He sees our motives. He sees our hearts. And in all things, in all ways, hearts and motives included, we must strive to love and adore our awesome almighty Lord!