It’s so easy to get our motives tangled and off-kilter. Read last week’s post about my first desire to be a speaker.
Several years after my prayer to kill off my “speaker envy”, God started whispering to me about speaking ministry during my quiet time. My first reaction was to think, “There’s that old, nasty envy again. God purify my heart!”
This time was different, though. The desire to speak didn’t come with the same thoughts and emotions as before. This time I fought against the desire even as it continued to grow. This time it was a desire to make God known instead of making myself known. Within that year, God started opening doors for me to speak, and I was filled with joy instead of ambition. The timing was right, my motives were pure, and it was a calling instead of covetousness.
It was a desire to please One while I was becoming more like Him. This time was different, because God had refined my motive to just one.
“Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5 NIV)
My motive is to follow Him and be made more like Him. That’s the one motive that supersedes and reigns over any others. How do we practically live that out? I think the clue is in the following verses.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Phil. 2:6-7 NIV)
There is something in every speaker’s and writer’s heart that loves MORE. More speaking opportunities with bigger audiences. More books published with bigger numbers. I don’t actually think that’s a completely bad motive if our desire is to spread more of God’s message. But God is the giver of that kind of more.
I think our focus has to be on becoming NOTHING. Let me be clear. Nothing is not our status. Our status is holy and dearly loved daughters of the King. Nothing is to be our chosen position. Just as Jesus, reigning King of heaven and earth, made Himself nothing, we are to choose that position as well.
As I’ve thought about this important task of making myself nothing, I’ve been given two questions to ask myself when I’m making ministry (or life) choices:
- Does this put self first or others first?
- Is this a choice to be more or to be nothing? (To elevate myself or to submit myself?)
These two questions are efficiently exposing twisted motives and bringing me back to my chosen position of nothing. Day by day my motives are being heated, purified and refined. It’s a painful process sometimes, but it’s a good process that I believe allows God to be more and therefore potentially for my ministry to be more.
I’d love to do something that puts the readers of this blog first today! I have a beautiful Real-Life Devotional Bible to give away. Please leave a comment on the blog to enter. (If you’re a subscriber, you’ll need to click over to the blog. Reply emails won’t count as entries.) I’m not going to put any requirements on your comment, so express your heart freely! If you also let me know in your comment that you’ve Tweeted or Facebooked a link to this post, I’ll enter you twice. Since these tips cost NOTHING , we’ll see if God does MORE. 🙂