Checking My Motives
An amazing phrase is repeated in 2 Samuel 8. "The Lord gave David victory everywhere he went" (verses 6 and 14). Perhaps the secret to his consistent victory is found in the motivation expressed in his earlier prayer: "Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever." His motive in every battle was for God's name to be known.
Motives are immeasurably important in prayer. I was looking for recipes for Sunday dinner. "Dear Lord, help me to find something to fix for guests," I prayed, and suddenly God had me looking at my motives. Did I want to impress with my culinary skills? If so, God wasn't that concerned about helping me. He wanted to help me if I wanted to fix a good dinner for the right reasons.
What would be "right" reasons? I wondered. I don't want to waste a lot of time sorting through recipes or cooking. I want the guests to enjoy the meal and feel loved by my preparations for them. When I could offer up to God those reasons for His help, I knew I could trust Him to lead me to the proper menu.
If we could realize what a high honor it is to give Him glory, we would never desire anything else. But often our thoughts are on our immediate need rather than our desire for His name to be honored. We need the Spirit's help to ask for what we will one day see clearly was God's greatest kindness. God's glory always results in our receiving His greatest expression of love for us.
Dear Lord, give us grace to allow You to reveal to us our motives behind all our requests.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit" (Philippians 2:3).
"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me" (Psalm 50:15).