Motivation for Doing What You Ought to Do

Romans 7: 22 – 25

Jesus “…works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2: 13

The energetic living Lord Jesus spiritually indwells the believer.  Two of the many functions He performs are to motivate and enable a person to do the right.

He is responsible for the INWORKING, we for the OUTWORKING. Somewhere between the inworking and the outworking there is often a breakdown. speaks embarrassingly for most of us:

“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7: 19) Is that a painful description of you? 

Christianity isn’t intended to be a series of ups and downs. It is to be a succession of ins and outs. Christ works in us that His will might be worked out by us.

Two full-time college students were discussing their part time jobs. One said, “I work in the opera. The pay is good even for my bit role as a spear carrier.” The second, knowing of his fellow student’s long day and heavy schedule said, “How do you stay awake so late at night?” “Simple, the guy behind me carries a spear also.” The Spirit is the supernatural spear carrier behind us.

Christ said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts….” (Matthew 15:19)

If we are going to do what we should and avoid what we should not do we must preempt improper thoughts.  Don’t program your mind with secret improper thoughts and expect your conduct to be correct. 

A mental discipline must be developed. A technique for doing this is noted in II Corinthians 10: 5, “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ….”

Two negatives are spoken of as “arguments” and “high thing(s).”

Arguments refer to intellectual pretension or human conceit. It is any deceptive fantasy. The expression “high thing” refers to improper pride. 

In summary, the two refer to any barrier of pride that is erected against the knowledge of God.

Then follows the appeal to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” The New English Bible translates this, “we compel every human thought to surrender in obedience to Christ.”

Therefore, when you have a deceptive fantasy or improper pride rethink the subject and superimpose a thought you are confident Christ would think if thinking on the subject. That is what is meant by bringing our thoughts into captivity. Preempt improper programming. Get it out of your life if you don’t want it in your life.