The Lord Weighs Your Motives
by David Brenneman
My Bible Reading this morning takes me to a very potent part of Proverbs...Chapter 16 (NASB).
The thoughts that come to mind, borrowing from John's ending to the Gospel by his name, there might not be enough ink to write down what could be written.
"The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." - Was thinking on this type of thought the other day when I'm asked something and I really don't know where the answer came from.
"All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives" - wow. Truth be known we WILL lie to ourselves to make ourselves feel better. We will run to what has less conflict, what has fewer problems. If people are pushing our buttons we run the other way to escape that if it's possible.
"Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established." - to commit your works would likely be to place them at His feet as an offering.
"When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."
Then there's one of my favorites: "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." - this verse ties in directly with "We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that He prepared beforehand that we might walk in them."
Do you look at your life in this way at all? Do you look to see what you can do that only makes you feel better and not 'the other person'? Sin natures abound in everyone. Our first reaction to many if not all situations is to protect self. If situations appear to overwhelm us, either God's trying to do a work in us about something or we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things." 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 NASB.
Tends to remind me of 1 Peter 5:10 "after you have suffered a little while...". Romans 8:18 "For I consider the present sufferings...". "share the sufferings of Christ" 1 Peter 4:12. "But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed." 1 Peter 3:14.
Not to forget Genesis 50:20 where Joseph reminds his family "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result...".
We do not have the mind of God to know what He knows unless we are setting our minds on things above. Unless we are taking up our own cross to follow Him. To die to self to live for Christ.
We indeed have ideas and thoughts about how to live life to it's fullest. It's born of generations of people telling us these great and wonderful things to look for and forward to that can and probably will distract us from the Will of God for our lives. We are to take note of the Disciples, as someone once said if God's repeating Himself...pay attention! He repeated the criteria for being a Disciple in 4 Gospel accounts. Intentionally. We read in the rest of the New Testament on what Godly living is to be.
We read that after the Rapture, our lives will be weighed and checked by fire to see if what we did that was what God wanted us to be doing survives. Your motives are among those things, my motives are among those things.
Your motives are also your reasons. Your why behind your doings in life.
We ought to live lives that show we fully understand that the Lord is weighing our motives.
In the court of law, facts are weighed in evidence...to try to get to the motive for what transpired.
In the court of Jesus the facts of our lives will be weighed in evidence...to reveal our motives to us. We WILL deceive ourselves in order to gain a foothold in areas of our lives to feel better about ourselves in what we do, what we feel, what we eat, what...well fill in the blank. We will do whatever in order to honestly keep FROM what we read in 2 Corinthians. In all honesty we WILL do things to keep from suffering in Christ Jesus. We like to rejoice on Sunday's but the rest of the week...we tend to forget about rejoicing always. Praying always. Seeking God always.
If Jesus were to knock on the door of where you are today and ask to come in. Would you recognize Him? Would you let Him in? Would He have free reign to go anywhere you call 'home'? He would sit down across from you and look intently at you...would you be honest with Him or would you suffer through being uncomfortable? Would you open up about everything that's on your heart or would you just talk about the weather, hoping He doesn't stay long because the 'game' is going to be on soon? Are you going to talk about everything BUT what He wants to talk about? Are you going to be a Martha and go on about food and preparations to eat rather than just being with Him?
Lots of questions...what's my motive in this? This isn't my writing...ask God. Seek Him and find out what He's trying to say to you today. My thoughts are irrelevant...it's what God says, what He wants of me are what's important. His work in me is towards sanctification. His work for all who are in Christ Jesus is sanctification. It's not about personal pleasure in health, wealth or prosperity. It's not about our feelings. If we only did what we only wanted to feel good, be it eating, entertainment, etc, we likely would not be doing things for Jesus. Our sin nature wouldn't allow it.
Philippians 2:3a NASB "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit..." We can get wrapped up in so many things in life that have nothing to do with sanctification, even saying that what we are doing is for that. There's one key problem. It's that we are HIS workmanship. We need to be obedient to what He is wanting to do in our lives with a willing spirit. Our motivation ought to be obedience. Not in creating our own way to look right in God's eyes...because...He weighs our motives.