Motive is a powerful thing. It reveals the heart. It reveals intention.
As a young Christian, I was hungry to be used by the Lord to minister to people. And so I was encouraged to “seek His face”. The preacher would teach us that being with the Lord in prayer and spending time in His presence was the key to flowing in signs and wonders. The scripture encourages us to be “as bold as a lion” as we “walk by faith”, trusting the Holy Spirit to move as we believe. Praying for someone’s sprained ankle while in the queue at the store or praying for a blind person’s eye to be opened while they pass by in the mall; it’s no problem if you know it’s going to happen. So how do we make sure it happens? “Seek His face!” and “Press into the supernatural by spending time in His presence” was what we were taught.
Matt Redman wrote a song in the 1990’s called “Heart of Worship” and it’s a glimpse into the journey of him working out the motives of his own heart. In it he sings “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, its all about you, its all about you, Jesus.” For a time, Matt, who is an extraordinary musician and anointed in leading believers into the Presence, began to use worship as a means to an end. What was once times of intimacy and adoration, turned into something else. His goals changed over some time and so he then began using times of worshipping the Lord to become more skilled, more anointed and to (in his eyes) garner more favour from the Lord so that God would use him. A time came where Holy Spirit revealed his heart and showed him the folly of it. "Heart of Worship" became his song of repentance and constant reminder of what worship was to be all about.
Spending time with The Lord as a means to an end is the wrong motive. Is it wrong to desire to serve people with the gifts? No. Is it wrong to desire to be used by Him? Certainly not. Those are God-given ambitions. May all in the Church have these desires to be used to touch a lost and dying world! But they are secondary to your love relationship with Him. Intimacy with the King is priority number one. We spend time with Him because we love Him. No other reason. No other agenda attached. Him alone.
So ask yourself: Do you spend time in prayer because you enjoy being with Him? Do you spend time in worship because you love to adore Him?
Or do you spend time in prayer and worship SO THAT you can be empowered to live a supernatural life or SO THAT you can be a better preacher or SO THAT (you fill in the blank)?
I admit it. Some time ago I fell into the same trap as Matt. I was reading my Bible, spending time in prayer and soaking in times of worship as a means to an end; until the Lord graciously showed me my motives.
Won’t you join me and let our hearts return to Heaven’s motive: “I’m coming back to a heart of worship. It’s all about you. It’s all about you, Jesus.”