"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
This is interesting... we basically do what is in our hearts to do. Righteousness happens in a lot of ways... it can start with feelings... a desire to know something, or feeling the spirit... or it can start with knowledge... we know right from wrong, we intellectually know that Christ lives, that he died for us... or it can start with actions... we try to do the things that other people say are right, test the theory. Any of these can work, if we are open to the other ones as well. Even just robotic obedience can eventually lead to spiritual awareness if we are giving it a real chance... but if one of these things is blocked, we don't get there. We could do right actions all day... the Pharisees at the time of Christ are an example of that. Action was everything to them, but love of God and his children and knowledge of his ways was missing... or we could feel God there, spend our lives as hermits, feeling close to God's creation, or loving people... and never apply it to our lives. How much good does love or devotion do, unexpressed... unrealized? Or we could know absolutely without doubt that God lives, and tell everyone we met... but still be miserable, because it never touches our souls or reaches beyond our tongues. All of these things are good starts, if they are starts... but if they are the way that we live our lives, they are deceptions. The reality is that they all fit together, and are all essential in the end. If we think that we know and feel God there, and find ourselves doing evil things... the truth is, the inside is affected (infected?) as well. We can fake it to a point, but eventually... we're the same inside and outside, and if we don't change our actions, how can we ever change our hearts? If we don't change our hearts, how can we ever change our minds? If we don’t change our minds, how can we ever translate that into action? … it has to start somewhere. And perhaps, left up to us, it might never happen. Fortunately, God can change our hearts. He can overcome the bizarre internal standoff that we have going sometimes… which is why we need to trust him and do the things that he says. God doesn’t give busywork assignments... ever. His commandments are always designed to make us into who we can be... unlimited by our small minds. If we hear him... which takes emotional effort... then we need to follow him... which takes mental and physical effort. That way, when the storm comes, we might get wet and scratched up... but we won't be obliterated.