At the Well


Gathering At the Well


Wow! Another challenging topic to ponder.....the last few days have been full of thought-provoking topics in bloggy land. I have had to (gulp) take a long look into my heart, bringing lots of issues before God. Please check out Saturday's Cafe Chat for another challenging thought!

As we gather together, let us take a look deep within our hearts. Lord, search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Let's ponder this week's question:

Are my motives pleasing to you, God?
The discussion questions are:

What is the real underlying motive for all the good stuff that you do?
FOR EXAMPLE:
Do you go to church to fulfill an obligation?
Do you get involved to get a reaction from someone; possibly pity, recognition or even money? Do you volunteer in your child’s classroom to analyze the new teacher or is it to help? Do you share prayer requests for a chance to gossip or because you truly care and are praying?



OK. Who has been reading my journal? Who has been listening to my whisperings to God? Who has found out the secret fears of my heart?

I struggle with this.


I CONSTANTLY go before God, confessing that my motives are selfish, pleading with Him to get my heart right!


I am a person who worries too much about "getting credit" for my accomplishments. (Pride, pride, pride, pride, UGLY pride). In conversations, I find myself slipping in little tidbits here and there, letting people know that I am the one who organized taking meals for a friend, I am praying for that desperate person, I have organized a "God's Girls" club at my house with my daughters and their friends, I volunteered at such and such event......(OK, being real honest today! Hope you still come back, it's not pretty!)

And, it gets worse. I catch myself taking credit (in my heart) when the women in my small group bible study are growing in their relationship with God- as if I HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!!

I get so MAD at myself because ALL THE GLORY GOES TO GOD! How could I take credit for something He is doing?????


As a speaker, it is something I continually bring to God. I don't want my focus to be on ME or how many women are at the event or how I have impacted the women....


I don't want it to be about ME!!!!


Perhaps this is why Jesus says, "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven....do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving (not just money, but your "giving" of yourself, time, talents, service....) may be in secret."


Jesus knew (knows) the condition of our human hearts. He knows that we struggle with pride, pleasing people, building up our own selves...

This is why I have tried to keep my "good deeds" secret! I make it a point NOT to tell others what I am doing. Sometimes I have to talk to God in my head, saying, "God, I am purposely being silent. You know what I have done. I want to do it for You, Lord!"

I continue to bring every thought to Him in this area, telling Him that I DO NOT want to have any selfish motives or wrong ambition...

"Do nothing our of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider
others better than yourselves." -Philippians 2:3

This verse spoke to me several years ago when I first began speaking. I didn't (do not now) want there to be ANY selfish ambition when I speak for Him. I want it to be all about HIM and for His glory!

Lord, may ever motive be pure! Lord, if there is any selfish ambition or vain conceit, please purify my heart. Make my heart right, O LORD!

I helped organize the first large women's conference at my home church. This was the first event of its size and it WAS AMAZING! God truly "stretched out Hand and performed many signs and miracles"- setting women free from bondage, bringing women into relationship with Himself for the first time, drawing women to Christ, healing hearts and minds...

This is the verse He showed me:

"We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts." -1Thessalonians
2:4

Lord, test my heart! Show me if I am trying to please men or You. May I always seek to please You and You alone!

Meditate on these passages from James. They spoke to me!

"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, deeds done IN HUMILITY that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor BITTER ENVY AND SELFISH AMBITION in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have ENVY AND SELFISH AMBITION, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

It is always about our hearts, isn't it? Even when we are "doing good deeds," God is always looking at our hearts.

James goes on to say,

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, BECAUSE YOU ASK WITH THE WRONG MOTIVES, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures."

Lord, I know You care about the condition of my heart. It is important to You. You care more about that than circumstances of my life. "Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." You want my motives to be pure- in my actions, even in my prayers! Father, may I have the same attitude as Christ Jesus, completely humble, completely submissive, completely pure. I know I can't have any of this on my own! I know that my heart is ugly. My motives always look to ME naturally. But, praise be to God! I am a new creature in Christ, a brand new Creation! I have been born again. It is no longer me that lives in me, but YOU. I want to have the heart of Jesus. I don't want to be selfish or self-centered. I want to look at others more than myself. Forgive my selfish heart attitudes, Lord. Purify every thought, every desire, every motive. Less of me, Lord, more of You. Less of me, more of You. None of me. All of You. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Please visit the Gathering at the Well for more women striving to live as Titus 2 women.


13 thoughts shared....:

Debbie said...

This is so good, Tracy. It all comes down to our hearts. On the outside we may be "doing" wonderful things for God. But if our motives are unpure or selfish, it means nothing. And if we're not doing it in and through Him, then it's just fleshy acts, no matter how "good" they may seem. I think so often women are so busy in church activities and good deeds for the wrong reasons. They want to be seen and recognized for what they're doing. But you're so right; He knows our hearts and our motives. I don't want to miss out on God's call for my life because I am too busy doing seemingly good stuff for Him. Sometimes the most devoted women of God do their best work in solitude praying for others. And the only One who sees them is the Lord.

Chris said...

well said...

Joyfull said...

Thank you for your beautiful transparency and honesty. I along with many I'm sure struggle with that "me, me, me" stuff - pride! Thank God that He can give us renewed hearts and let it be "all about Him".

Ashley said...

Tracy,

Thanks so much for your honesty! It is so nice to see where you were and where God has brought you!

Thanks for sharing!

-Ashley

JesusRulzMe said...

Hello dear sister Tracy,

Well, as I've been visiting with the sisters at the "well" today, it seems accolades is an issue for all of us. But then again, I don't know of any human being who doesn't have trouble with this.

The best part is that you're in such a wonderful place...right before the throne of grace, seeking God's counsel and pleading for God's discipline and refinement. It's a hard place to be, but also the most blessed!

Thank you for sharing your heart with us today sister! ♥

Bless you!
Sunny

AnooCre8ion said...

Isn't it awesome when you find out that others are dealing with the same things that you are?

It really makes you wonder "who's been reading your journal?"

I am thankful that God's concern with us is not so much our wrong motives at times, but that when we realize it, we come clean before Him.

Great post.

Blessings,
Vickie

Laurie Ann said...

I love your honesty and transparency here, Tracy! I also totally love how God has given you a humble heart in serving Him. How precious are your motives before Him, and may they always be so, my friend. Great post!

LAURIE said...

Thank you for joining me in todays discussion of "are my motives pure?" WOW. What a huge journey to become humble before Him. I loved what you had to say about pride and yes we all have it, I have found myself doing exactly what you are talking about ... (me, me, me) - being in ministry with my husband fulltime has taken me thru alot of learning adventures and doing things for the right reasons is one of the huge lessons I am learning. Thanks for your wonderful insight today over AT THE WELL. -God bless, Laurie

Denise said...

This is so awesome.

Rebecca said...

Not telling can be so hard sometimes, especially when you are excited about what God has done. But it all comes down to checking what's in our hearts. Thanks for sharing so openly.

Beth in NC said...

Nothing like transparency sister! We have all been there! I'm thankful for your honesty.

Bless you!
Beth

Lisa said...

Your transparency is so refreshing. I can completely relate and think that most women struggle this way. It is hard to not be prideful and to give God the glory. Thanks for the wonderful Scriptures you used to show us how to examine our hearts.

Blessings,
Lisa

June said...

I praise Him because I know he knows our heart, don't you?

June