“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Romans 7:18
We can say with Paul and with certainty, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” If our goal is purity of motive, we might as well quit before we start because all our righteousness is as filthy rags. So, why should we try to do anything good? If my motives are hopelessly tainted, why even try?
Here is my personal example. So, I am trying to exercise the discipline of fasting. It’s something that is good, and holy since it directs my thoughts to my dependence on Jesus when I do it. It serves to translate the desire in my stomach to the desire in my heart. But, I also desire to fast because I need to lose weight, and not eating has the potential to improve my appearance. This is duplicity of my motive.
So knowing that my motives are duplicitous, I have, for years, resisted fasting for the right motive because I know full well that I lean toward the wrong motive.
Well, I finally decided to start fasting anyway, even with these impure motives knowing two things. First, God knows my heart, but He delights in the degree of purity that finds its way into the activity. Second, it would be unlike God’s man to not strive for holiness, and sit in apathy. To not do anything is the greater sin of the man in the Garden of Eden. Maturing our motive through the duplicity is the aim, and this only happens when we work out our salvation and is spotlights our dependence on the Him, and Him alone.
DO THIS TODAY: Do something even when you are conscious that your motives might be misplaced, with the hope that they will mature along the way!