Wednesday, February 25, 2009
A RIGHT MOTIVE - Spiritual Warefare 4
The fourth principle of spiritual warfare or authority in Eph 6 is found in verse 6 ‘doing service, as to the Lord’. The motive of any service we do must be directed to the Lord. Once you try to touch what you do for God you are in danger of losing any reward for that service or good you do. The question everyone must ask is why you do what you do for God or for others. It’s an interesting and revealing question if you’ll ask it honestly. Is it for the God, or for you? What personal satisfaction do you derive from it? Jesus talked about a religious man who would pray long and elaborate prayers in public pointing out that his motive was only being viewed as spiritual. Jesus stood watching the rich giving gifts of money but highlighted the faith of a widow who gave just a mite, maybe just a few dollars. Here Jesus is pointing out that she was actually giving the most because it was all that she possessed. While the rich where making a great display of there giving, their motive was less honorable than the one who gave the least. On another occasion a man named Simon invited Jesus to his house and put on an elaborate dinner. His motive though, Jesus describes, was not to honor Him at all but to honor himself. This would have been a man with many servants but Jesus reveals that nobody even washed his feet a great dishonor in that time. So the elaborate dinner for Jesus was not actually for Jesus. Jesus was not really the true guest of honor. Clearly the motive of his heart was the prestige and notoriety he’d gain from having Jesus in his home. Alternatively a woman came simply to express the honor she felt for Jesus because of the forgiveness she’d experienced. Simon’s heart was exposed as containing judgment and self interest. The motive of his heart was incorrect even thought the action of putting on a dinner like this could have been mistaken for honor, It was in fact dishonor. In another story a woman who desperately needed God’s forgiveness only found judgment and retribution in the hearts of the religious. You see in there hearts as much sin lay hidden behind a cloak of self righteousness and unforgivness. Jesus points this out by saying “he without sin, cast the first stone”. You see he knew the one that held a right motive and a desire for forgiveness, and those who believed they where in the right, but only really contained a twisted desire to hurt and kill her. It was them who really deserved to be stoned and Jesus knew it. God always looks on the motive of our hearts before anything he sees outwardly. In the earlier part of verse 6 it says, “Don’t do Good with eye service do the will of God from the heart”. Eye service means doing good in order to be seen to be doing good, rather than doing what is good from the heart with a correct motive. God knows the secrets of our hearts. So always remember to make certain what’s in your heart is pure, take the greatest care to ensure your service to the Lord is motivated by what is honorable. John the Baptist grew up knowing the identity of Jesus and his life was dedicated to preparing the way for Jesus and his ministry, heralding Jesus as the coming Messiah. Yet at the end of his life when things where not going the way he expected, after being placed in prison he sends a note to Jesus. In this message he asks the very same question he’d been answering his entire life. Are you the one who should come or should we expect another. So what changed? The motive of his heat changed. The reason for his service had shifted from Jesus to himself. Always maintain a right motive in your heart and you’ll never lose your head. Difficult circumstance can begin to apply the kind of pressure that causes us to place our focus of what our heart is preoccupied with. So it’s vital we always maintain a right motive in our heart and we will never lack Spiritual power.