In my previous post on Faith or Foolishness, I shared that, “Sometimes, without realizing it, we act out of poor motives under the guise of faith.” One reason this happens is because our heart isn’t where it should be. An example of heart motivations is seen in the story of Saul and David. Both men were anointed by the Lord to lead Israel as their king. Yet each man had different motivations that helped guide his decisions.
Saul was guided by performance to gain the affirmation of people. We see this in 1 Samuel 15 when Saul fights the Amalekites. God commands Saul to completely wipe them out, yet in an attempt to please the people, Saul spares King Agag and the best of the plunder. He builds a monument to himself and lies to Samuel about his disobedience. The Lord is grieved by Saul’s choice and rejects him as king of Israel. Saul acknowledges his sin and responds with a desire to worship but not from a heart of love for God. He asks Samuel to worship with him so as to appear blessed by Samuel and God.
David, on the other hand, receives his calling from God and grows in relationship with Him. He has faith to defeat Goliath because he faces Goliath with the strength of God. He does not care about building a monument to himself for his reward is found in his relationship with God. At one point, when God disciplines him for his disobedience, David seeks to make an altar to the Lord in repentance. The owner of a threshing floor offers David the land and oxen for free, but David replies, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24 NIV). David’s sacrifice and worship comes from a place of deep love for God instead of seeking to lift himself up.
Some of you may be wondering whether you have the right heart motivation as you pursue the prophetic promises from God. As long as your heart’s desire is to be obedient, then I believe your heart is in the right position. Please don’t get lost in a sea of introspection in the process. If your heart is to love God through obedience, then you are in a good place. Remember that parts of the journey take time. Allow the journey to move you into a place of deep trust in Him. When you are following God out of simple obedience and relying on Him, He will create the opportunities at the right time.
Solid, trusting relationships are very beneficial in discerning whether or not you are hearing the Lord correctly. While pastoring, I built those kinds of relationships which allowed me to help people discern what the Lord was saying about their destiny. Out of trust I was able to believe that Mike and Deena had heard from God to move to China. On the surface it might have appeared foolish. When I was making my decision to leave my church, I had a group of close friends that knew my life and heard from the Lord. They helped me discern whether or not I was hearing from the Lord about this life-changing decision.
I want to leave you with this thought. Incorrect motives hinder our ability to choose wisely. If our choices come from incorrect motives, it places a strain on us and is difficult to sustain and maintain. We do not need to fight for position or appearances; God provides each and every opportunity in the correct time and season. He does not do this to limit us, but to give us the strength to hold the weight of the promise. We cannot fulfill His prophetic promises on our own. We need each other and we need His power to see them come to pass.
God I pray for each person reading that you would give them peace and assurance as you guide them into their destiny. I pray each of us will be motivated out of devotion to you instead of the approval of man. Lord, I bless everyone reading and I pray that they will sense your leading and timing. Thank you Lord for fulfilling your promises to us.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV).