Measuring Motives

Tuesday, Nov. 15                       

“Anything I do for God in my own strength does not glorify God.”  There’s a lot of truth in that statement, but a little explanation might be in order.  We are instructed in the Word to do certain things and to refrain from certain things.  We are encouraged over and over to obey God.  That takes effort on our part, our “strength” if you like.  So it’s not the “doing,” it’s the motive behind the doing.  And this can be as slippery as an eel.  Is it possible to obey God and do it in the flesh?  I believe it can happen, and probably happens more than we realize.  And I think the doing can be a mixed bag; it can be to glorify God and at the same time resonate with our self esteem.  I find myself often in that arena.  I do something in order to please God (good motive), but I take a little credit for being obedient or for the way I did my little duty.  The sin nature is always at work.  Self is never fully out of the picture.  I find that I need to not only check my motive, which prompts the action, but also to keep checking myself on how I feel about it after the action.  If I have a good feeling about myself, it falls into the category of wood, hay, and stubble.  If my heart is centered on God being behind it, of God enabling me to do it, or how God orchestrated the whole thing, of how good God is, I’m on the right track.  The sinful heart is deceitful and I need to be brutally honest with myself when I evaluate my feelings in this area.  The Holy Spirit is right there to set me straight. I need to heed him, not “quench” him.

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