A common question that is asked in schools and at home is, “Why did you do that?” The most common answer by children is, “I don’t know.” The truth of the matter is that children often don’t know off the top of their heads why they do what they do. But they can know. That is why they are in school so that they can train, discipline, their minds and their bodies to act and think on purpose not randomly.
As adults we call it childish when a child says, “I don’t know why I did that.” Yet we often don’t know, or are unwilling to admit to ourselves “Why” we do what we do. If we want to see Light Shining in Darkness this year, then we need the light to penetrate the darkness of our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 makes the statement, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:” and asks the question, “Who can know it?” Our spiritual “Heart, ”which in this context is the seat of our mind, our will, and our emotions– is a dark place were our sin nature often controls. The heart is not only dark, it is deceitful. We are the ones being deceived by our own hearts. We may say out loud or even to our own conscience that we are serving in a ministry because we want to serve God when, in reality, many Christians serve only because they want to be recognized in the church and have a higher status amongst other Christians.
If our heart is deceitful, how can we know our true motives? Jeremiah 17:10 answers the question asked in the previous verse, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins…” God is the source of all Truth and all Light. To shine light in our hearts, it must come from God. But how? Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” For children and adults, the answer to “Why did you do that?” can be found in the pages of scripture. As we read God’s Word, which is alive, it reads us and shows us our true motives. The Bible alone can decern the deceitful intents of the heart.
The purpose of our daily devotions is not just to gain intellectual knowledge about God, the Bible, or even our own hearts, it is to Change us. When we read the Bible and see that we have been operating under false motives we need to repent, change our minds, and go back to the right motive. The church in Ephesus was admonished in Revelations 2:1-7 because though they did great works, they did not do it out of Love for Christ. Our first and greatest commandment deals with our motive not our actions. Matthew 22:37b-40 “… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Our Motive should be Loving Christ first then loving our neighbors. Other motives are deceitful. So may I ask, “Why do you do, what you do?”