I have found myself going through an interesting season of life. One of the things, or thoughts that has dominated my thought process is; “What are my motives?” Motives are the driving force behind all things that we do. Sometimes when we do good things for people, the motives behind those things are to gain glory, or be noticed. I often hear celebrities say on television that ” it feels good to do good things for people.” I am not here to question other peoples motives, the only person’s motives that I have a right to take into consideration are my own. I have written similar blogs, and tried to make my case by using scripture. Not today, in fact I am not even sure that this holds any theological vitality, but these are just my thoughts anyway.
As I go through this season of examination, I find myself having to review a lot of things. I have to re-evaluate my motives for the things that I am doing, and check the reasons for the things that I want to do. Another area that this has influenced is my Bible reading. I have to figure out if the things I believe about the Scriptures are as they are, because I want them to be that way. Do I believe things because it benefits me? If my motives are wrong, then I will miss all of what Scripture has to say, and only hear or read the things that my itchy ears want to hear. Am I being challenged by the Bible? How often do I come to a place where I don’t like what I read, because is doesn’t fit the way my life looks; or visa versa? If I never come to that place, then there is something seriously wrong with me. After all, the Scriptures are supposed to convict me. If they don’t then that means I am living a perfect life, and if I am living a perfect life, then I am calling Scripture a lie.
Motives are tricky. Often times my motives start out pure, and godly; next thing you know I am realizing that they have changed to internal, and selfish. I had to sit back and ask myself, “Why are you reading the Bible?” Was it because I was “supposed” to? Do I pray because the Bible tells me to? What about fasting, meditation, and journaling? Are all those things that are supposed to be done in Spirit and in Truth, being done as a superficial act of religiosity?
My questions brought me to think about the big picture, and why I am a Christian. Am I a Christian because I want to go to Heaven, or not go to Hell? Am I a Christian because my Dad is? Why do I do these things, what is the thing that I am seeking the most? Sometimes I am afraid that it has become about what I can gain.
When I go back to the beginning when I first realized that I needed Jesus in my life, I realize what my motivation was back then. It was Jesus! All of those things that I listed above; Heaven, prayer, bible reading/study, meditation, fasting, journaling, and good works, are all a byproduct of my relationship with Christ. What it was that I was seeking originally was a relationship with Christ. That relationship is the reason that I do those things, because I just can’t stay away. I long for contact with my Jesus. I need to be in His presence! I can’t wait to go to Heaven, not because of how beautiful it will be, but because He is going to be there. Though all of those other things are great, and I don’t dare take away from how glorious a place Heaven will be, my concern is with Jesus. Before, I had this unquenchable thirst, that was and can only be satisfied by a life with Jesus. That includes falling on my face in reverence, boldly approaching the throne in petition, and quietly sitting and enjoying His presence.
Last night I was sitting on the couch reading some assigned reading for school. My youngest daughter came running in expecting me to be watching television so that she could manipulate me into putting on the channel her sister wouldn’t put it on in their room. When she noticed that I wasn’t watching television she took off down the hall. I chuckled. Much to my surprise she came back seconds later with a book in her hands. She jumped up on my lap and said “Daddy, can I read with you?” She can’t even read, then I realized that though there was going to be a benefit to her sitting with me, it wasn’t the driving force. She just wanted to sit quietly and be in the company of her daddy. I too long for that. Don’t we all?
I guess, after all that thinking and evaluation, my conclusion is this: When I think about my final destination, it isn’t so much a “where am I going”, but a “who will I be with”, and that is my motivation for life, and living out my faith. I pray that it is for you too.