Monday, April 24, 2017

True Motives

Every one has some driving force or principle. What motivates you? Every decision you make, every action good or bad, every interaction, what determines them? What do you look to for help deciding? When you decide whether to follow right or wrong, what makes the difference? Whom do you serve?

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT)
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

Notice the last phrase in that verse, “because we fear God.” That should be the driving force in everything we do. Our reverence for God should be the only motivation we have and need. It will drive only toward what is good, where our own personal desires may or may not. That fear of God should be above every other fear or desire, otherwise He would not be our God. Our level of devotion shows our faith and love for God. If we are not motivated by God that shows that He is not important enough to influence us.

God needs to be our first priority, as Jesus commanded in Matthew, “seek first the kingdom of God.” If God is first, then we clearly have that necessary fear and reverence He deserves. Then, He will be the motive that drives us.

Often, “religious” people do all the right things, but with the wrong motives. They desire to appear righteous to others, rather than desiring to serve God. Fear of man is their ultimate motive. They love the praise of others rather than God. Others, their only motive is duty, they know what they are supposed to do so they do it because that is what Christians do. But their service is empty. Their hearts are not seeking God, they do not serve because they truly love God. It is only lip service.

They say that you get what you pay for and that rings true even in matters of faith. It may be better said that you reap what you sow. Those who seek to please others, who serve in order to receive praise or appear religious, will get their praise from man, but they will not receive any praise from God. They may even risk being cast out by Him, saying, “I never knew you,” because man is their God, that is whom they serve and love.

Those who serve out of duty will receive only duty in return. Their empty religion will result in an empty life, devoid of any relationship with God. They may be saved and go to heaven, but their lives will lack that abundance that Jesus promises to those who seek Him with all their heart. Their lives will be empty of the joy, love and peace that a rich relationship with God provides.

But for those whose motives are true, for those who seek God whole heartedly, who reverently fear and serve Him out of a deep, knowing love, they will receive God Himself!

2 Corinthians 6:16b-18 NASB
“I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.

God doesn’t want a bunch of robots that do what He says with no love for Him. He doesn’t want a bunch of hypocrites who say they serve God but in reality serve men. He doesn’t want us to do what is right just because that is what we are supposed to do. Yes, He wants us to be holy, pure and righteous, but He wants us to seek Him first. Seeking Him will result in holiness, purity and righteousness, and we cannot truly obtain those any other way. Any semblance of holiness or righteousness that we can show without seeking God is fake and worthless.

Isaiah 64:6a New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;

We have nothing good to offer. The only good that we have is of God. We can never do anything good enough. That is why we have to seek God first. We have to get that holiness, purity and righteousness from Him, otherwise we cannot have it at all. More than our holiness or purity, He wants us. And He will freely give all of that to us if we seek Him. We can’t earn or deserve it, but we can receive it.

So what motivates you? Who are you truly serving and why?

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