Proverbs 16:2--All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.
The Bible is decisively clear on the fact that God is able to discern what our motives are no matter how well we think they are concealed. “. . .for the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought.. . .”(1 Chronicles 28:9). “. . .who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts .. .” (1 Corinthians 4:5).“You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires” (James 4:3).
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a motive as “An emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.” Our action is predicated by motive. For example, I may decide I need to spend more time in prayer. You may think that my motive is to grow closer to God. In reality, my desire may be to be known by others as a praying person. Or I may want something from God and calculate that more time in prayer will earn His favor.
A well that is filled by impure motives renders contaminated water no matter how good the water may look or taste. So how do we keep our water clean? Perhaps by understanding God’s motives. The Bible communicates that God loves us and desires to have a vibrant relationship with us. Unless He has a hidden motive disguised to us, our Creator made us for fellowship.
Once we understand God’s motives, we are set to examine our own. If I believe He loves me and wants to fellowship with me, then my supreme motivation in life ought to be to love Him and to reciprocate by seeking to know Him. Before I act, I should ask myself the question, “Will what I am about to do glorify God and bring me closer to Him?” If it won’t then why do it! If it will, then why delay?
God gathered the dust to form the man (Genesis 2:7)
He acted in love for that was His plan.
What saddens my Friend and hastens His hurt
Is when I don’t care and treat Him like dirt.
The one motive of Jesus is to turn men into sons of God, and the one motive of a disciple is to glorify Jesus Christ.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)