Sunday, November 1, 2015

Monitoring Your Motives

For the most part, we do things without really thinking about why. Sure, we think about the how(s), when(s), and where(s), but the why(s) of our deeds are often ignored. Why we do something is called “motive”. The official definition for the word motive is “a factor inducing a person to act in a particular way”. There should be a conscious purpose behind everything we do and say; a particular intent that drives our actions. Nothing is more aggravating than talking to someone who has absolutely no idea why they are saying the things they are saying; they are talking heads, just talking to be heard. And although there are plenty of people like that–people who lethargically drift through life seemingly without purpose–there is always a motive behind people’s actions, whether they take the time to think about them or not.

In most areas of life we can get by with ignoring our motives, but when it comes to our walk with God, there is no escaping it: they are vitally important. Our motives will determine whether we spend eternity in heaven or hell. Motive will determine whether God answers our prayers or not. Really, in the spiritual realm, our motives will determine everything.

Let me get to the crux of the matter. The Bible says in Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Why? Because Colossians 1:16 states, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, AND FOR HIM:”

Everything that exists (time, space, and matter) exists for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. The heavens and the earth were created by Jesus and for Jesus. Revelations 4:11 states that even you and I were created for Jesus’ pleasure. 1John 2:12 tells us that our sins are forgiven, not for our sakes, but for Jesus’ sake. That’s right! God didn’t forgive you of your sins so you’d feel better about yourself; He forgave you of your sins because it pleased Jesus. This can only mean that everything we do in this life must be done in the name of Jesus and with Him in mind.

Listen carefully. We must guard ourselves from humanism. Humanism is a rationalistic system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. You may say, “I don’t attach prime importance to human matters. I’m so heavenly minded I’m of no earthly good.” Well, let’s see about that. I know you want your husband, or wife, and children saved, but why? So your life will be better? So that your husband/wife will be kinder to you? So your child will respect you more? I’m sure that some of you are sick and want God to heal you, but why? Is it so you can feel better when doing your housework; so you can sleep better at night; or is it so you can be a greater soul winner for Christ? Is it so you can be a more effective soldier in God’s army? Now, I’m not saying that it is wrong to want to be healed in order to feel better in your everyday life, but it shouldn't be your only and primary motive. Most people are doing nothing for the kingdom of God and, more or less, want God to heal them so they’ll feel better while continuing to do nothing for the kingdom of God.

I am reminded of a story concerning two Moravian missionaries who were consumed by a great burden for a particular slave island. The slave master that owned the island and the slaves on that island hated Christianity and would not allow a preacher to come there. Two young Moravian boys sold themselves to that slave master in order to preach to the slaves on that island. They went knowing they would never see their families and loved ones again. They went knowing that they would die as slaves. Why do you think they did such a drastic thing? Is your mind thinking upon the slaves right now? Buckle your seatbelt! That’s humanism: a rationalistic system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters! Fortunately, those two Moravian missionaries weren’t humanists. As their boat sailed away, they called out, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.” Their primary motive for surrendering their lives into slavery was their unwavering conviction that Jesus paid too great a price for those precious souls to allow them to die and go to hell. Their primary motive for selling themselves into slavery was their love for Christ, not their love for people.

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we say the things we say? What motives are behind our actions? Humans can be the most selfish, self-centered creatures on the planet and it is motive that determines whether they are self-serving narcissists or selfless Christians living and breathing to please Jesus.

Would you like to know why so many sinners come to the altar and leave exactly like they came? Motives. They come to the altar for no other reason than they want God to make their lives better. For them to get saved, they must see Christ and the manner in which they have rebelled against Him. Their hearts will have to grieve for transgressing His law. Their hearts will have to be more concerned about how they’ve trampled the blood of Jesus under foot than they are their own predicament. God is no spare tire! Christ will be Lord of all or Lord not at all! All for Christ!

Please, ask yourself: Why do you pray? Why do you go to church? Why do you memorize the Bible? Why have you chosen the friends you spend time with? Yes. Ask yourself those questions regarding every facet of your life. Why do you do the things you do?

If God will grant me the gift of brevity, I’ll quickly conclude this blog entry. Please, pay attention to the manner in which you pray. Do you spend most of your time worshiping God; praying for others; or asking God for blessings upon yourself? When you go to church; do you go with a testimony, a song, a piece of money, etc., to bless others, or do you go primarily to get blessed? Do you even think about it before you go? What was the primary subject of your prayers; the kingdom of God or your own personal welfare?

The reason I write this blog entry–Lord, I pray it’s not humanistic–is Christ wants you. I also want you to draw closer to Christ. I want you to be blessed. I want your prayers to be answered. And in order for you to be truly blessed; and in order for your prayers to be answered, you will have to die to yourself. Your life will have to be wrapped up in Christ and what pleases Him. In Luke 14:26, Jesus said: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” You must die and live only for Christ. After all, He is worthy.

What do you think will move the hand of God quicker: praying “God, save my husband/wife/child. Jesus died for them and they’ll be a mighty witness for you”; or “Lord, save my husband/wife/child. I can’t take this anymore”?

What do you think touches the heart of God more; what do you think would cause Him to be more willing to heal you; praying “God, heal me. I can’t take this pain anymore”; or “God, heal me so I can go into the highways and hedges to bring souls to Christ; to glorify Him in all I do”?

Now, just saying these things won’t move God, He knows your true motives. Christ’s glory must be your primary concern. Christ’s kingdom must be the driving motive of everything you engage in. Not what’s best for you; what’s best for God.

Monitor your motives. God may or may not move when you call out for yourself, but when you call out for Jesus’ sake heaven will come to attention.


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