Joy in God’s Sovereignty


“And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless.” I Thess. 5:23

 My motives

I believe my motives to be pure and true. That is my prayer. There are selfish exceptions of course, but I try.

However, if I try, if I look deeper within myself, if I dare to be honest, I can usually find something – some motivation, something that is not so pure and true. There are those who say there is no such thing as pure altruism and I mostly agree.

If my motive is nothing more than to gain favor with God, I guess that would be a selfish motive. There is only one motive, while still not truly altruistic, is the closest one can come and that is to glorify Jesus. If that is my motive, it comes from the Holy Spirit and totally acceptable.

Prayer: That I be pure in my motives as well as my actions.

(These notes are by John Griffin. To more fully understand these comments, read the daily devotion for the day dated the same as this in “My Utmost For His Highest”).

A Little Bit More

God Weighs Your Motives

All a man’s ways seem right in his own eyes,

but the Lord weighs the motives.—Proverbs 16:2

How quick we are to question the motives of others, yet we are so slow to question our own! When others harm us, we may assume the worst of intentions. When we are guilty, we often excuse our offenses, concluding that others are far too sensitive! Regardless of how we monitor our motives, God weighs them in His scales of righteousness. It is futile to try to deceive God with our pious justifications, for He sees our hearts.

Is it possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason? Of course! You can attend worship services with a heart that is far from worshipful (Isa. 1:10–17). Could you show concern for the poor and yet have a heart that is opposed to God? Judas did (John 12:4–8). Could you make bold statements of love for Christ and actually be aiding the work of Satan? Peter did (Matt. 16:21–23). Could you offer sacrifices to God and be in total disobedience to Him? King Saul did (1 Sam. 13:8–9). Could you pray with the wrong motives? James said you can (James 4:3).

Many things cause us to do what we do. We can be motivated by good things, such as love for God, compassion, generosity, and faith. Or our actions can come from unhealthy motives such as pride, insecurity, ambition, lust, greed, guilt, anger, fear, and hurt. It is even possible to do the best things based on the worst motives. When the Lord measures our motives He looks for one thing: love. All that we do should proceed from our love for God and for others (1 Cor. 13). Take time to look past your actions to what lies behind them. Ask God to show you what He sees when He examines your motives.

Experiencing God Day by Day: A Devotional and Journal.




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