One word that can make a big difference.
Knowing a person's motives can completely change how you view their actions.
the problem is...it's sometimes hard to discern some one's motives, isn't it?
It's even harder to discern our own motives at times.
Sometimes the true motive is buried deep below justifications.
This morning in my quiet time, I was questioning God about something I have been praying for for quite a while. Then I read this in my devotion:
So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
It is hard to believe that the Lord would ask us what He could do for us. However, sometimes that is the question we must answer. Bartimaeus was blind, and he knew exactly what he wanted Jesus to do for him: restore his sight. Yet he received much more than physical sight! he received salvation, for Jesus knew Bartimaeus's heart was faithful. Bartimaeus immediately used his gift to become a follower of the Savior.
Jesus also asked James and John what they wanted Him to do for them. They requested the most prominent places in His kingdom. This time, Jesus answered that He could not give them what they asked. Their request was selfish, and it brought dissension among their fellow disciples.
Only when we pray according to God's will is He pleased to grant our requests. We will not see our prayers answered if we ask selfishly. If god refrains from giving us what we are asking, we should evaluate our prayers. Are our motives selfish? Are we asking for far less than God wants to give? Are our requests worthy of the God we approach? Do we lack the faith God requires to give us our desires? Is there unconfessed sin? God delights in responding to our requests. If we will ask according to His will, we, like Bartimaeus, will receive far more than we anticipated!
As I evaluated my prayer this morning, I had to look deep to my true motives. I asked myself all those questions.....and believe my motives to be pure. That gave me great encouragement to hold on and keep lifting my prayer.....looking forward with anticipation for the answer!!
If you are wondering, this devotional is from Experiencing God Day-by-Day, by Henry T. Blackaby. It is one of my favorites and I have gone through it probably 6 times now. It never ceases to amaze me how most days are tailored just for me!