“Put me on trial Lord, and cross examine me. Test my motives and my heart.”
What are my motives when I sit before God each morning? This is a question that He impressed upon my heart while camping last weekend. Am I in line with Him or are my intentions selfish? I can honestly say that I look forward to my time alone with God and when I fall asleep each night, I think about what He will bring the next time we meet. I am excited to sit before Him, praying, talking and reading Scripture. I expectantly look for Him. I crave to hear what He has to say and if I don’t sense the shift into His presence, I’m incredibly disappointed. I am fully aware of what disconnection feels like and when I’m not plugged in, I get distraught and I will call out and ask:
“Where are you?”
My husband and I took the trailer to Monk’s Corner, SC and spent three lovely days in nature but as we were heading out for our weekend get-away, I gazed at my desk and chair and said out loud:
“I will miss you!”
It’s not that I would miss my desk and chair, it is the time I spend and Who I encounter when I’m sitting there. This is where I meet with God each morning. I know that when I sit down, my environment is prepped and prepared for our intimate conversations. I am immediately open and ready to receive His love, wisdom, guidance, forgiveness, and strength.
It is in this spot that he whispered the name of this divine piece of work (blog). He had put the vision into my head long ago but i just didn’t give Him the time to reveal His thoughts, ideas and motives. I tried to formulate a post or two but failed miserably. Although, as soon as my fingers touched the keyboard, and I heard the tapping of each letter, I couldn’t help but to be filled with excitement as my sentences began to fill the screen. I filed away my rough drafts in the hopes that I would be able to use them one day!
I spent my days dreaming up names for my God-given project and everything that I came up with, was not available. I would send my husband looking for the domain only to be disheartened when I saw that it was taken. On the morning of November 11, 2017, I found myself reading Philippians 3:13,14:
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on the one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
As soon as I read that Scripture, the Lord whispered:
“Here it is! This will be the name.”
I jumped up from my chair and ran to my husband who was working in the other room:
“I’ve got the name!! Jesus just told me to call it “Our Heavenly Prize.”
I could feel it in my spirit that this would be mine! My husband’s facial expression was that of interest so we looked up the domain right away and sure enough, there it was for the taking. I know that this divine platform is designed just for me. All I had to do was tune in, listen and obey. If I do these three things to the best of my ability, I will and you will be blessed! So what are my motives?
God does speak! It isn’t a human voice that you would hear with your ears. It’s an inward, distinct, bold intonation that only you can understand. The more you tune yourself to Him, the easier it is to discern whether the dialogue is from God or you. Invest your time with Him each day. You will miss out on what He has for you if you push Him to the side. I’m guilty and I’m learning. There is nothing that compares to His presence. When I’m invited to leave this chair and go with Him each morning it is a wonderful, life-changing experience and I never want to go back. There have been mornings where I sit in the still and plead with Him:
“Let me be with You all day long! This is where I’m meant to be. Help me to stay here.”
I guard and relish the moments when it is just He and I. I turn off all interruptions because I don’t want anything to upset the peace I feel when I’m in His presence. There’s not a soul around to tell me that I’m doing things wrong or that I’m just being silly–no judgement whatsoever. He is my Father, my friend and companion, my Helper and my Savior. I look for Him each morning and I want what He has to give. Is this greed?
I’ve been asked on a couple of occasions what do I do when I say:
“I’m heading into prayer.”
I don’t mind this question at all because it is my deepest desire for everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Just this morning my friend ask this very same question. To which I responded via text this way:
“It depends on Him. I usually start with Charles Stanley. His messages are about twenty minutes long and I feel they prepare me to meet with God. I either sit quietly, pray, talk to Him like I talk to you, read devotions, write in my journal or read the Bible. This morning I prayed and then felt led to work on a blog post. It is just time with God without distractions doing what He leads me to do. Listening for His guidance and direction.”
“Perfect, then I will do this too. Thank you for being an example.”
I missed the shift yesterday morning! I was in deep thought on a blog post that I had read earlier on mental illness. The writer’s words moved me in a direction that I didn’t want to go. The description was incredibly powerful that I found myself right there with them. I couldn’t shake the emotion that erupted within me. So, needless to say, I was a bit lost in my time with Jesus, unable to focus and pretty much gave up. It wasn’t until the afternoon, as I sat outside in the sunshine, that He whispered:
“What are your motives in your time with Me?”
This isn’t the first time that He’s brought this to my attention. Charles Stanley wrote about “The Importance of Motive,” on May 8, 2018 and this passage sent my mind and heart reeling:
“Think about the last conflict you faced, or maybe the one you’re experiencing right now. Are God’s honor and your spiritual growth the focus of your desires? If not, then you are at odds with what He is trying to accomplish in your life. But if His will is more important to you than your own agenda, you can be certain that He will use the battle for your good and His glory.”
“At odds,” is certainly right in the case of my last post. I wrote this in my journal on May 9, 2018:
“Sitting in prayer this morning contemplating a post that I worked on several days ago, “This is Me.” First draft went rather smoothly but the editing process was a battle. I kept changing words and sentences. I felt doubt and the flow was disjointed. Why the struggle? Is it written in my own strength? I don’t want this? Is it because I’ve signed up for some training in writing and comparison is starting to rear its ugly head? As I sit outside the camper watching the squirrels eat the pecans that I throw at them, I wonder what my motives are? Am I interested in God’s Will or am I interested in self and success?”
Rewards and praise are wonderful. We all need that sort of encouragement but is it something that I’m looking out for? Is this why I spend time with God? If recognition doesn’t come, how do I react? Who deserves the glory? Certainly not me!
Further along in my journal I go on to say:
“Your posts are not always going to just come pouring out. Where would you be if there was a constant flow? What would you have learned and grown from? If I were not sitting here struggling with this current post (This is Me), I would not have stopped to ask God His thoughts. I would not have learned to check my motives. I would not have learned and been reminded that what I write isn’t only for me. It is for people. I, fortunately and thankfully, am blessed in the process.
The interpretation from Proverbs 16:3 says this:
“There are different ways to fail to commit whatever we do to the Lord. Some people commit their work superficially. They say the project is being done for the Lord, but in reality they are doing it for themselves. Others give God temporary control of their interest only to take control back the moment things stop going the way they expected. Others commit a task fully to the Lord but put forth no effort themselves and then they wonder why they didn’t succeed. We must maintain a delicate balance; trusting God as if everything depended on Him, while working as if everything depended on us.”
Have I committed “Our Heavenly Prize” to God and how does one do that? Is it a statement? Is it in my thought-life? My motives? I want this blog to be for Him and from Him. I wait on Him and His revelations that He shares with me before I submit any writing. I want to be sure He’s the author and not myself. It’s no good if it comes from me. People don’t want to hear from me. What hope and promise can I give them? Nothing! I can, however, have the right motives, commit what I write to Him and share what He does in and through me.
1 Thessalonians 2:6-8 says this:
“When we witness for Christ, our focus should not be on the impression we make. As true ministers of Christ, we should point to Him, not ourselves.”
And the Lord is so faithful and compassionate in our weak moments. He has surrounded me with an amazing amount of encouragement. With each vote of confidence, I quietly say to myself:
“I’m not seeking this Lord but I do thank you that you’ve supplied me with it.”
He knows what we need and He isn’t stingy. If He knows that our hearts are in the right place, He will shower us with blessing upon blessing. My heart is in the right place. I pray that I’m able to draw people to Him with words. I desire to help and inspire others to start asking questions of Almighty God. I share Scripture because this is God and I pray that when it’s read, that the Lord will act and pull each person closer because I can assure you, once you get a taste of who God is, you will come back for more. You may start with just reading a Scripture but His Words will cling within you and they will grow and you will want more. Next thing you know, you are devoting an hour of your time and you won’t let anyone take it from you. He is a lovely addiction!
So as I write this, I can say that I am in the Will of God. My struggles are just God’s way of saying:
“Sit back and listen to what I have for you. I am your Teacher and I want you to do this my way.”
When it flows right on out, it’s just God saying:
“You’ve got this right where I want it to be.”
This blog is my platform to speak in the Name of Jesus and what I’ve written is meant to touch each one of you. Your Father knows right where you are and He’s coming for you! Hallelujah!!
And now that I’ve got my motives straight, Praise God, let’s press forward to Our Heavenly Prize.