I hesitated because this post felt a little harsh but sometimes the Lord corrects us sternly with a desire to bless us.
Several years ago the Lord spoke to me about 'motives.' Since then, I've examined my motives before I do most anything...blog, speak to someone, go somewhere, etc. I believe the Lord cares about our motives more than He cares about our good works.
I believe that if our motives are not pure in what we're doing, the work will be burned up. In other words, we may as well not have done it. If our motive is to appear Godly, to have someone else think well of us, or to promote ourselves, we need to stop and get our hearts right before we do anything else.
If our motive is manipulation, we're really in trouble, because control and manipulation are a form witch craft.
Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives."
For some, this may be a new thought. They've believed that it was a given - that they should go to church, that they should attend the Bible study, that they should take that family a meal - but if the motive is not pure, we've gained nothing in God's eyes.
I think it's very easy for us to be influenced by a society where everyone wants to be a superstar, where everyone wants to be recognized on social media, and where humility and servanthood are not things to be desired. But it's desired by God.
Matthew 6:3 tells us, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing," We are to keep our good works secret, not flaunt them, and certainly not seek recognition for the things that God deserves all the glory for.
A few years back I was in a relationship with a pastor and his wife. I knew the Lord had put me in their church as an assignment. I was asked to be part of their worship team.
I typically start every day with worship. And so even before church on Sunday mornings, I was in the practice of spending time with God in worship and in His Presence. I had an opportunity to share this with this pastor, and his response was, "How long do you have to do this before you get into God's presence?" He saw this as a means to an end. His desire was not for God but for the benefits of God.The Lord would later show me this man from His eyes. The man had a spirit of selfish ambition and I saw the word, "devour."
Philippians 2:3,4 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
This is to be our motive; that we first are glorifying God and then that we are seeking the good of others and never hoping to advance ourselves.
love and blessings~