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Motives

These days the Lord has been dealing with me about want. Kind of hard for a girl, huh? It's more like little semi-teachings about what want does to people (selfishness and greed), making idols in life (much easier than you think ,becoming a Saul (losing your humbleness) and most recently, the motives behind the things we want. 




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Do you find yourself praying about seemingly trivial things, although reminding yourself that the Bible says to pray about everything? Do you find yourself spending hours looking at the one thing you want online? Do you pray about things...but then not take time to see what God says about it because you're so excited?





I know the feeling.                                            powertochange.com

A summer promise to treat myself better and improve my quality of life has almost turned disastrous! If God hadn't shown me the path I was innocently going down, I would've been TORN APART! Like I listed in the first paragraph, God dealt with me in semi-messages like He always does, always thoughtful enough to make sure He's not putting too much on my heart. (Isn't God just wonderful? Seriously! He's ALWAYS thinking about us! "His thoughts toward us are too much in number...") So the first message came while I was just reading through 1st Peter and a little of James, just trying to get a little bit of scripture into my heart. I skimmed through a paragraph about greed and what happens to people who want too much and turn to greed. 

-A little back story on this- Up until my parents divorced, we'd never had any problems with money. Afterwards money was short, but by the grace of God and the never-ending faith of my mother, we always made it through. In fact, we made it through like CHAMPIONS.  Because of her faith and mine put together, I was able to attend private school. Thank you, Jesus!

So I could relate to those who earnestly asked the Lord for money. I looked at what happened to those who asked for too much out of greed, and thought nothing more of the paragraph. 
Next day, quiet time. The Lord reveals to me I have some idols in my life. I read the chapter in Isaiah 49. I repented and listened to the Lord, assured that through His grace those idols went down. The next day, I had something on my heart to read about Saul and his change of heart after becoming King of Israel. It wasn't just about Saul before- it was specifically the change of heart. I took notes, and I learned about what not to do when receiving favor. Today, God reveals to me the reason for all of this. It was because of one simple thing, and looking back specifically at the mention of idols, I can't believe I didn't get it. (Must be the flesh- it's amazing how you can look back at things after you've gone through them and see so much clearly than you did before).

THE MOTIVES BEHIND MY PRAYERS WERE WRONG.

God didn't leave me, and He definitely didn't stop speaking to me- I just wasn't looking at the big picture. I was looking at what I felt, and what was important to me. Sure, God was there, but my mind wasn't focused totally on Him. Every time that specific thing I wanted got tossed in my mind, my whole focus shifted. God was suddenly on the sidelines. So, in quiet time, I received this:


"Watch what you ask! Pay attention. Listen for the Lord's answer!"

Now,  of course we all know the Lord speaks to us in different ways, but when He says listen, it means stopping, thinking about what we're asking for, and examining why we want it and what we want it for. Just like when you're in the store- you don't just mindlessly shop around! You buy what you buy because you have a reason for it and a motive behind it.

If your motive doesn't reflect Jesus, do what fisherman do. If the fish is damaged or deformed in anyway- toss it back into the sea! Doing it is actually a little harder- and trust me, Satan will marvel at this new opportunity to taunt you to no end- but get on your face before God and cry OUT to Him! If you earnestly seek Him, He'll match you one for one (James 4:8 paraphrase). Once you realize why you feel the need to have that earthly thing, ask God to fill that void so completely that you don't need anything else in that area. Mine happened to be male attention. I wanted a man's approval so badly even the good vow to eat healthier became something ungodly. I wanted to grow my hair out because I love long hair, but found myself thinking back on things I'd read, listening to Satan tell me I was doing the right thing because men love to run their fingers through girl's hair. 

Check your motives. They might surprise you. Thank the Lord He told me before it went and caused a whole setback! 

"When you ask you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on pleasures." -James 4:3

Let God save you some trouble today. Listen to Him.


Resources for this problem:

Other Christians go through it too! Check out Daddy's Daughter's post about it: http://tumilife.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/he-speaks/

Tenth Avenue North's (can't you tell I love them? :) song about this subject (a song to help you cry out):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OazUWut9xew



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