Genuine conversion only happens in the light of the cross, when the soul encounters Calvary's love and yields to its influence. Conversions founded on a platform of unresolved guilt, or on a mere sense of duty, or on brute determination are superficial and will only supply strength proportional to the weakness of the foundation. When storm winds of temptation really blow, such religion will be found to be worth nothing. Like a house built on the sand, it will be swept away, but those who build on the solid foundation of Christ will stand against the fiercest temptations.
Not because they feel too guilty to sin.
Not because they feel obligated.
Not because they try hard enough.
But because their loyalties have been so won by divine love that they would rather die than sin against their precious Savior; because God's love is stronger than temptation to sin. It is the most powerful force in all the universe. It is our greatest and most basic need.
Once we have come to Christ and received the new heart, it is by the same means that we are to continue in Him. "As (or in the same way) you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" Colossians 2:6 NKJV. As we become born again by the realization of God's love at the foot of the cross, so we are to maintain our new life by remaining under the powerful influence of the cross.
Allow me to explain in more practical terms. Temptation and motivation are very similar concepts. We use the word temptation to describe negative attractions,while we often use the word motivation to refer to positive attractions. When we say we are motivated we usually mean we feel prompted to do something good.
Temptation and motivation are mortal enemies. The first is Satan's primary weapon for the ruin of souls. The second is the Lord's chief advantage for the salvation of souls. We can easily see then that we need to pursue a course of spiritual discovery that will increase the strength of God-ward motivation in our hearts and weaken the influence of temptation to sin.
The apostle Paul explains what our strategy ought to be:
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne o God" Hebrews 12: 1,2 NKJV.
(Temptation and Motivation are mortal enemies, aren't they? It makes it so clear to me, I do hope that you are finding the same thing. Let us run the race that God has set before us, because it is all possible through His love, because His love is power. Grandma Joan)