God looks at the motives of our heart. Did you know that? He doesn’t judge us on our actions, he doesn’t judge us on our accomplishments, he doesn’t even judge us on our words.
“But the LORD said…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.””
1 Samuel 16:7
He is pleased by all of those things when the motive of our heart is to bring him glory. Now judging the innermost parts of ourselves can place us in a very vulnerable position. We often aren’t automatically open to being brutally honest with Jesus about ourselves. Like he doesn’t know already, right?
“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
1 John 3:20
Even though he knows all our thoughts and desires and motives, a part of intimacy with him is telling him what he already knows. Because guess what? When we do that, we are in the position for him to reveal more of his goodness and our unattended areas. Paul instructs the Corinthians and the Galatians to self evaluate to show that you are living the way God would have, not based on others performance. (Gal. 6:9, 2 Cor. 13:5)
I’ve been challenged in this area recently. Identifying the motives I have for saying certain things, wanting certain things, or acting on certain impulses.
The Holy Spirit has been dealing with me about being vulnerable lately so I’m going to be vulnerable with you. I was having a conversation with my fiancé about how I was having an emotionally challenging time with planning our wedding. I enjoy planning events and I’m really quite good at it. I determined at the start that I would not allow stress to be a part of any of the process and that all of it would be to the glory of God.
I started down this emotional journey when I started believing what everyone was telling me. When you are planning a wedding, everyone tells you “this is your day, it’s all about you and what you want”. Well that is the world’s perspective on a wedding, and in life really. But that wasn’t the original motive for my fiancé and I. We intended on God being the center of not only our marriage, our wedding ceremony too. The primary motivator for having a larger ceremony and celebration was to create an avenue for the Holy Spirit to minister love to those who don’t yet know the love of God. No part of the original motive of our wedding pertained to me getting my way and Matthew reminded me of this in that conversation.
FI was still focused on believing their lie and realizing that I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I didn’t want a big ceremony. I didn’t want that color, I didn’t want that detail, etc. I wasn’t getting what I wanted because my motive had shifted from God’s heart and his glory to trying to get my way.
This conviction gave way when in this conversation he asked, “what’s motivating these thoughts?” Already in self ambition and a state of pride, I didn’t admit in that moment of my conviction, but I did hold on to it. Over the next few days I allowed the Holy Spirit to really diagnose that. I began opening up to this reevaluation of my perspective on this whole wedding and allowed him to realign my heart to match his.
Because of this instance, the Holy Spirit has now had room to evaluate other areas of my heart and my motives in those.
“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”
So lets be Jesus motivated not self motivated and be open to the Holy Spirit’s evaluation!