Why do you go to church? Why do you give to others? Why do you want to be a Pastor, Prophet, Evangelist or any other office holder in the church or any other institution? Why do you want to marry that man or woman? Why do you want to go to school? Why do you want to hold a political office?
When you are able to answer these questions genuinely (honestly before God), you will begin to understand a very important thing in our lives or the reason behind what we do on this earth.
Underneath every action we take on this earth are intents and motives; there is always a reason for doing everything we do on this earth. On the face value we are able to detect the reasons behind people’s actions or based on what they tell us. However, it takes only God to determine or see the true motives and intents that drive our actions. Remember that, motives and intents are the bedrocks on which our actions rest.
Bible says in Proverbs 16: 2 that, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD”.
This means that, what we see openly that looks right before us may not after all be right before God. In other words, there are things men do on this earth that are acceptable to all, but because the motives behind them are wrong, it may not be acceptable to God.
There are many people in jail today whose intents and motives were genuine but their actions were misjudged. God shall surely vindicate such people at His own time.
God doesn’t limit His judgement to actions, but rather He extends it to our motives and intents that are hidden from the view of humans. That is why the Bible further admonishes us not to judge others but leave everything to God who gives the right judgement based on an impartial assessment of motives, intents and actions.
1 Corinthians 4:5 says: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”
Talking about motives and intents brings us to the Church of today. All over the churches, we have Christians fighting to be placed in a position or another; some church leaders even go to the extent of paying bribes to be given some positions in the church. Why would they want to go to the extent of doing that to be given such positions? A careful look at their actions could lead us a bit into the motives behind those actions or desires. Some of them are not fighting for such positions in order to serve, even though that is always the catch-phrase. Many are craving for such positions in the church clearly because of the privileges that come with them and the avenue it creates for them to show off or make some money. (I am limiting this to the church because that is where God’s judgement would begin from and that is where God is expecting His people to learn and do the right thing).
It is a pity that there are fights and internal conflicts in our churches today and one can easily trace the cause to motives and intents. Many Christians have suddenly forgotten why they were called into Christ’s fold and are now more interested in worldly things than things that would secure them heavenly treasures. That is why we are just fighting for positions, congregations, privileges and the rest. If we truly want to serve God in the church with a very genuine heart filled with good motives and intents, we would all be content with whatever position or role is given to us.
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9. Those were the words of David to Solomon. The most important part of David’s charge to his son is that God searches the heart to find out its thoughts (intents). If we all would take this warning seriously, our Christian walk would be easier and more importantly our entry into Heaven would be more guaranteed.
Many Christians behave as if God is just like any human being- limited only to what any other person sees or knows. We pretend to man and God and think we are too smart. Instead of being genuine before God who sees and knows all, we come into His church with wrong motives and intents, creating confusion and destroying God’s work.
It is very interesting to see how everybody wants to be a prophet in the church today. Sincerely, some of the so-called prophets may be forcing themselves to be prophets because it is the ministry en vogue at the moment; it is charismatic and perhaps good at making one rich quick.
On the Day of Judgment, we shall be surprised to see how God would disapprove of many people who may have headed big congregations and made very good names for themselves just because the motive for leading is not to serve but to make a name for themselves, make money or achieve other things that are selfish.
God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) so we need to seek Him diligently without pretence. Let every other person do the wrong thing but purpose in your heart to be genuine to Him, making your motives and intents clean and clear.
God is looking for people who would serve Him with a clean heart in truth and in spirit. Nothing can be hidden from Him who sees the depth of every heart. It is in our interest to be genuine to God so that we receive the right reward.
Whatever you do on this earth will be subjected to judgment, be it hidden or open. So, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water,” Hebrews 10:22.
Dear ones, God is watching all that we do and will judge our motives and intents; therefore, let us continually weigh the reasons behind our actions and ensure that they are in tune with God’s Word.
He rewards genuine service even when no one else sees what we are doing. Watch your motives and intents so they don’t lead you astray for you can’t outsmart God.
May God grant us the grace to be genuine before Him in all our dealings with Him and our neighbors.