Within every follower of Christ God desires to form our hearts into his likeness. This seems easy, but the process can be very painful and can bring great harm if God is not the center of our life. God uses His word to bring transformation, but He also allows us to go through seasons that expose ungodly characteristics that need to be uprooted from our life. I’m not sure if you have ever been put in a situation where you had to intentionally choose to be kind, patient, or even remain silent while internally you were enraged. Internally you wanted to yell and scream and let everyone know, “you weren’t happy!!!” These “internal screams” are the things that need careful observation because it can point to wrong motivations of the heart. These motivations could be heart conditions of pride, envy, jealousy, greed, covetousness, and are full of selfish ambitions that are self destructive to our lives and to those who are around us.
So what do we do if we are aware of wrong motives of the heart? James says, “Come near to God…” (James 4:8) This is daily meditating (prayerfully read with an open ear expecting God to speak to you.) on scripture and allow the living scripture of God, to change your heart as you humble yourself before Him. This means that we approach God as a person empty of ability to be righteous on your own. Then scripture says, “and He will come near to you.” This is no passive approach to God changing your heart, He personally desires to help form a new heart in you.
For someone starting out, who has never prayerfully meditated on scripture. A great place to begin meditating is in the book of James, Psalms 119, or Matthew 5; you choose.
Charles Spurgeon said, “We must NOT say, I have faith and then fall into the sins of an unbeliever for, after all, our outer life is the test of our inner life and if the outer life is not purified, rest assured the heart is not changed.”