If we are serious about following Christ, we must have pure motives, and our pride has to be denied.
• Shifting blame to others: pride
• Not owning up and being truly broken for our wrongs: pride
• Failing to realize that when we sin, we are rebelling first and foremost against God: pride
• Refusing to change until the other person does, or only changing until the person sins against us again: pride
• Going to church and putting on a smile so others think we got it together: impure motives
• obeying God yet harboring bitterness: impure motives
• obeying God because we think He will then give us our selfish desires: impure motives
Is there no fear in knowing that God sees beyond our outward deeds and doesn’t just look at, but searches the heart?
For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. (Hebrews 4:12-13 HCSB)
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7 NKJV)
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10 ESV)
If your motivation for being a Christian isn’t only because you have grasped the incredible love God has for you and that He is worthy to be worshipped, and thus you want to love and worship Him in return, your heart is not pure.
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8 NKJV)
That word for “see” in the original language is horao which means to see, know, and experience. When your heart is pure in God’s sight, you will undoubtedly be transformed “from glory to glory” in His image and see Him actively working in your life and answering prayers. The opposite is also true, for the Word of God says:
God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6 NKJV)
To repent isn’t a mere outward change of behavior. The word repent in the Greek is metaoeno, which actually means to change one’s mind; heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.
Repent means you ditch your thoughts and opinions and agree with God’s. You no longer justify retaliating when others sin against you, you no longer justify bitterness or unforgiveness. You change your mind about following God when the other person starts to follow Him. You deny yourself; your ideas, your feelings, and just follow Jesus. That is true repentance. Without genuine repentance of the mind, everything you “do for Jesus” is just a show. There is no real transformation, real growth, real power, real love, or real joy. Though outwardly you may seem alive to others, inwardly you are still “dead in your sins.”
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”-Jesus (Revelation 3:1-3 ESV)
May all who need to repent, repent in truth and be healed.
Love and grace to you,