Prov. 16:2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines his motives.
You have heard the saying that actions speak louder than words. It is true, but I will take it one step further, "Motives speak louder than actions." We need to back up our words with our ways, but we also need to back up our ways with our whys. The Lord looks upon the heart to see the why behind what we say and do. The heart is where our character is found.
Jesus changes the heart. He gets rid of the selfishness and replaces it with His love. He gives us hearts that want to do what is right before God. He moves us to live with God in mind. The true test of whether or not we are getting it right is found in the motives of the heart.
We may not always get things right, but if the motive is right, it pleases the Lord. And, if we seemly get everything right and do if for all the wrong reasons, the Lord will not be pleased with us at all.
The only way we can be assured that our motives are right is for us to take seriously the role the Lord plays in our lives. We must stay deeply connected to Him so that He can influence the direction of our hearts. If our intent is to always do what is right before God, we will do it. He honors those who honor Him. When Jesus is Lord of our hearts, our hearts will always please God.
And, Jesus becomes our Lord when we purposely let Him. He will not take ownership of our hearts without our permission and cooperation. Are you letting Jesus have His way with you? Is He determining the course of your life? Are you cooperating with Him to keep your heart pure before Him? Are the motives of your heart to always do what is right before God and to please Him? Is it for His honor and glory that you live?