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?
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
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.