Sometimes I ask God to purify my lust. It’s like asking God to polish my poo.
We can ask God to clean up our dirty motives, or ask Him to give us all new motives as He intends.
We can easily use God to bless a false motive as if He is swayed by our self-persuasion. “God, I really want to date this hot girl and it has nothing to do with her being hot or me being dumb or my burning hot loins.”
We cannot dress up lust with Christianese — it’s never worked. God is not fooled. I don’t think you are, either.
“Make me a good speaker so my church will be huge — for Your glory. Make me overcome pornography so I won’t be guilty the next time You look at me through the Bible. Make me a good husband or wife or sister or employee so I’m not a hypocrite and so You’ll actually hear my sinless prayers.”
Not bad prayers, but in the end these are self-pitying, self-driven motives. We might not say them this way but it’s what we really mean.
God intends for us brand new desires. He has to rip out the old ones. Which is painful. And we’ll still get our motives confused. Even the best Christian gets love and lust mixed up. We all desire unicorns and leprechauns sometimes.
But new Christ-centered desires have a way of forcing out old reflexes and clouded reasoning. It’s the explosive power of the Gospel: that we are new creations, called out of the world, and crucified with Christ, which is the most violent language possible to describe how we are born again. There’s no way to read Galatians 2:20 and not get sober by it.
By the Spirit, you have the power to command sin just as powerfully as Christ killed it. Not perfectly, no. Passionately, yes. New desires: get some. Don’t furnish a hotel room. We got a home in Heaven. And there’s a King up there who rips out your faulty heart for a new one: His.