Unmixing Our Motives

Unmixing Our Motives

January 3, 2014

I’ll never forget when mixed motives almost killed my true calling. Soon after accepting a leadership position in the women’s ministry of my church, a friend on the team came up to me. “Oh! We forgot to tell you,” she said with a grin. “You’re in charge of the annual women’s conference.”

Despite the surprise, I loved every minute of organizing the event. But as I interacted with our guest speaker, envy began to wind itself around my heart. If it could have spoken aloud, it would have said, “I want THAT!

I wanted her platform.

I wanted her eloquence.

I wanted her audience.

I wanted her cute outfit.

Fortunately, I recognized these “wants” as signs of covetousness rather than signs of my calling. I knew God had called me to be the women’s ministry director during that season—not to speak. And each time I desired what that speaker had, it took my focus off what God had for me.

So I asked God to kill the weed of envy that was choking the life from my calling to lead women. I asked Him to purify my motives and steer my heart to the women He had called me to serve.

It’s so easy for wrong motives to creep in to our hearts. You might not want to be a speaker, but maybe you’re the mom who dresses her children to impress others. Or maybe you’re the employee who takes charge of the room to show your boss your readiness for the next step up.

There’s nothing wrong with cute children or promotions, but so many times our motives trip us up. Instead of being pure, our motives get mixed with other things that sully the outcome—emotionalism, pride, and strong personal preferences are just a few.

Several years after my prayer to remove my “speaker envy,” God started whispering to me about speaking as I prayed and read the Word. My first reaction was to think, “There’s that old, nasty envy again. God, purify my heart!”

But this time was different. As I unpacked my motives, I realized God had really changed my heart. He’d refined my motives to just one, and that was to obey Him.

Philippians 2:5 states our ideal position: “Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus” (NIV 1984). Our one motive should be to follow Him and become more like Him. That’s the motive that should supersede and reign 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” (Philippians 2:6-7, NIV 1984).

Our focus has to be on becoming nothing. Nothing is not our status or worth. We are always holy and dearly loved children of the King.

Nothing is to be our chosen position as a servant.

How does this look in everyday life? Jesus is our perfect example. He is everything: the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He is so incredibly powerful and important that Colossians 1:16 says “all things were created by him and for him” (NIV 1984). Despite His exalted position, Jesus showed the purity of His motives toward us by giving up all He had.

As I’ve thought about how to imitate Jesus in my motives, I ask myself two questions when making choices:

• Does this put me or others first?

• Is this a choice to be more or to be nothing?

These two questions expose any twisted motives and bring me back to my chosen position of nothing. Day by day, my motives are refined. It’s a painful process sometimes, but it’s a good process that ultimately produces pure motives with divine outcomes.

Lord God, You are the only One with uncontaminated motives. I confess mine are often mixed with pride, emotion, or personal opinion. Please purify my heart. Forgive me, un-mix my motives, and help me move forward with a pure heart. Amen.

Related Resources:
For more thoughts on cultivating a pure heart, visit Amy Carroll’s blog.

Setting our hearts and minds on Christ helps purify our motives from unforgiveness. Join the Proverbs 31 Ministries team of writers in doing this through Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living.

Reflect and Respond:
What decisions are you making today? Are they cluttered by impure motives like unforgiveness, fear, pride, or overwhelming emotions?

Pray and ask God to show you any impure motives that might affect your decision-making, and then ask Him to remove the ones He shows you.

Power Verses:
Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me.” (ASV)

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (NIV)

© 2014 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Susan Mullens says:

    I hope you got yourself a cute little outfit!!!

    • 🙂 Thanks, Susan! Today may be a thrifting day looking for a cute outfit on the cheap!

    • Currently, my husband, Ron Smith and I are trying to figure out if we should attempt to live completely on our own- utilizing support services from the Department of Rehabilitation Services here in Springfield, Illinois-allowing us to have a Personal Assistant to help us with household tasks, even cooking meals. Ultimately, there’ve been people from church who think we could live on our own with no trouble whatsoever, just getting any modifications we may need and having a PA come and help us with the things we need. There are no other thoughts standing in the way of this current decision. We’re going to definitely have to pray about it? What is the next move God wishes us to make in the new year? Is it in our best interest, or is it merely just omething we want for ourselves? “Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus”Philippians 2:5 (NIV 1984). I <3 what this verse tells us. We should act Christ-like. By this, we should ask ourselves what Jesus would do in our situation- if He was in our position. Jesus wants us to follow Him, even be more like Him. Doing this in't always going to be easy; however, our behavior should resemble what he'd do. We need to practice kindness and generosity to others, even help those who are in need at all times. We should focus more on bringing our needs to God in prayer, seeking his guidance in our decision-making process of what we're considering. This may be omething difficult, as we are often used to making decisions all on our own; however, God can help us go in the right path and direction that He may be leading us toward. “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” (Philippians 2:6-7 NIV, 1984
      I think this verse is telling us that God wants us to be like Him, put ourselves in His place to see what He'd do in our various situations. We should also see what the Bible says about our situations. The decision me and Ron are trying to make is tough, as I don't know how we can put others before ourselves in this delemma. The question is how will this decision and choice affect our friends and families? I <3 our church community, and I'd hate to leave them; however, we've had many positive comments about how we don't seem the type to not be living on our own. "all things were created by him and for him”Colossians 1:16 (NIV 1984). This verse is telling us that God created everything for us. We should treasure all that He has given us on earth.
      Lord God, You are the only One with uncontaminated motives. I confess mine are often mixed with pride, emotion, or personal opinion. Please purify my heart. Forgive me, un-mix my motives, and help me move forward with a pure heart. Amen.Lysa TerKeurst I think this is iomething we should bring to God in our everyday prayer time. God can help us purify our hearts and minds to make good decisions that'll have good outcomes. Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me.” (ASV)
      In this verse, we are asking God to give us clean heart and His spirit. Renewing our minds to do what's right is what we need to ak God all the time during our prayer time alone with Him daily. Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (NIV)
      If we have a clean heart, God will definitely bless us greatly. God wants us to make the right decisions that would be good for everyone involved.

  2. Shannon Ledford says:

    You have no idea how timely these words are for me. I found out yesterday through social media that a bunch of friends from our small group at church got together for New Years Eve, and we weren’t invited. The bitterness has really been welling up inside of me. It hurts. I even thought maybe we should just quit small group! Silly I know. Thankfully I stopped in the midst of this and prayed and I was able to halt my thoughts from going any further. Reading this today and these verses really help and show me where I need to focus. And even if my friends don’t know I’m hurt, I need to forgive them.

    • Prayers for you Shannon, I have been where you are and it is not a easy road. Good for you as you stopped and prayed. I need to learn to do that sooner!

    • Shannon, I’m praying for your smarting heart today. I can relate, and I want to encourage you that I’m inspired by your spiritual maturity as you handle this situation in such a godly fashion.

      Blessings!

    • Wendy Lee says:

      Shannon,
      I had a very similar experience this New Years Eve. We had a small group of friends that we were very close to. We saw each other every weekend and always had plans with the families. After the birth of my third child, this group pulled away from my family. Unsure exactly why. The timing hurt the most. I have had to pray for control of my thoughts and emotions dealing with this situation. Certainly not easy. I understand your feelings. It is very easy to question what you did or said or why you were pushed out. I pray that I will not make someone have this experience and be more aware of people’s feelings and emotions. I just think that this is an opportunity for me to grow with God and experience a true relationship with him. You are so smart not to dwell on this situation. Thinking and processing this situation is exactly what Satan would have you do. Sometimes it only takes a seed to take root in your thoughts for your mind to be filled with weeds. Stay strong and pray hard for encouragement.
      Happy New Year!

  3. I really love this post. I love the questions at the end. These will help me always know where my heart is!

  4. Amy, thank you for a wonderful reminder of examining my motives. The Lord is working on my prideful tendencies and teaching me to deny self. He has certainly used this message to reinforce this and keep it before me this day. Blessings to you!

  5. Thank you! My husband is considering a move back into the ministry after almost 10 years away. I have feared our true motives in doing so and this devotion has really helped to clear my thoughts and evaluate my true motives. I am sending this to him as well. Thank you so much! I really feel my motives are pure after reading this, even though they hadn’t always been before! Thank you so much!!

  6. Just…perfect. I left my very lucrative profession almost 2 years ago to stay home with my kids, and my husband does not love it. But I do, and I see my kids thriving for it…just not our finances. I often hear his pleas for me to go back to work and wonder if my motivation for staying home was selfish or truly because I felt a nudge from the Spirit to leave a job that was great in so many ways (money, status) but wrong in so many others (greed, pride and idolatry of the material, anger/resentment at being the primary bread-winner, not to mention dissociation with my children). I asked myself these 2 questions and it was almost like I was washed over with comfort and confidence, a renewing of my mind, that YES! in this season God wants me here, cleaning up toys from the floor, doing laundry, cooking, changing diapers, going to the park with my 2 year old and helping the 2 older kids with homework; and more importantly, changing my heart to focus on how I can glorify Him in “little” things rather than glorify myself through my work. Thanks for such a timely article…funny how God speaks to us, isn’t it?!

    • Lovely, Mamsmd

    • Mamsmd,
      I have a slightly different perspective on this. If your husband is pleading with you to go back to work, I think you should take under serious consideration. You don’t have to go back to your previous job, you could get a part-time job to help with finances. The only reason I say this is because I have watched a similar scenario play out in my family, the wife refused to work so she could stay home with the children and the husband pleaded with her to get a job. Her refusal buried them in debt that they are still trying to dig out of and built MAJOR resentment from the husband. I don’t know your personal situation and staying home is a worthy calling if both marriage partners are on board, if not it can lead big marriage issues.
      I will pray for your situation…

    • Hearing how God used the devotion this morning to affirm you blesses my socks off. Thanks for sharing, Mamsmd!

    • Gillie Ruth says:

      Perhaps the question you need to ask is ‘why?. Is it financial need, or want on his part, or whatever the reason, talk before it becomes a huge issue. You are doing a job just as important as could be, could you pray about what and when God wants you to be involved in your career at some time, even a willingness to discuss maybes might help. Easy for me to say. I taught full time, has two sons, them went back part time to many jobs with teaching and allied jobs, but I often worked where my children were at kinder or school…in some ways, too easy, but…my children had several conditions that I was best suited to help them with and their teachers with, so God can provide a way in any situation. By the way, we lost everything in the 1987 recession, amd we are still broke amd in debt, but God provides in weird ways! My sons are now going great, good careers, faith growing amd changing and a joy as always. Did I tell you I love my sons to bits amd am incredibly proud of my best work to date- two amazing, frustrating, funny, adorable young men of 24 and 25? Both of these gems nearly, very nearly died of asthma within 6 months of each other several years ago, so I also say, they are mine while they are, but they are ALWAYS Gods ., amd I didn’t have to,say the two final goodbyes I was expecting to. In saying that, it was about them, not me, amd that thought keeps me going, it’s about others, God is there to,use my experience as He sees fit, with my happy Amen to that!

  7. Hello Amy,
    This devotion was a confirmation for me. My Apostle asked all ministers to give a short word on New Year’s Eve, which I’m a member of a small church. However, two ministers went before me and their message was restoration, but mines were “Grant me Purity of Heart”. Which, I know God is about to restore his people because their words was a confirmation to me as well. However, after they spoke I was thinking to myself God did you really give this to me to speak on or was this message just for me? So, I was next to speak and I was second guessing myself again saying, “God did you really give me this message” and I don’t see how this tie into the other ministers message. Anyway, I went ahead and spoke on “Grant me Purity of Heart”. The scripture that I came from was Psalms 86:11. As I was speaking, I started crying as I talked about some of the personal struggles I had in the year 2013. You mentioned some of the same struggles in your devotion. So I told the congregation that my news year’s resolution and my continuous prayer for 2014 is Psalms 86:11:
    Teach me your ways, O LORD,
    that I may live according to your truth!
    Grant me purity of heart,
    so that I may honor you.
    Also, the scripture that I ended with was the same scripture you used at the end of your devotion, Matthew 5:8. So, thank you for allowing God to use you to write this devotion this morning. I needed that confirmation form the Lord.

    • Keisha, I’m so thrilled God used my words to encourage you. He’s so good!!!

    • What a beautiful and timely message Keisha! I am praying Psalms 51:10 over my life this year as I desire God to create in me a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within me!! And thanks Amy for your devotion today as it is confirmation of what God wants me to work on in 2014. Blessings for a fruitful year!

  8. Motives…I wonder all the time if mine are right…except for the times I am pretty sure they are not, and I need to ask for forgiveness. It is so hard sometimes to know what decision is the right one. There are arguments for both sides. I know what feels right in my gut, but would that glorify Him as well or more than the other option? I wish I could just HEAR Him sometimes…it would make it much easier. : )

  9. So needed to read this today. I am always questioning my motives and then wondering if I did what God wanted or what I wanted. The Psalms 51:10 verse is displayed on my mirror as a reminder to seek God first. Thank you!

  10. thank you so much for your posts, I am currently a teacher but feel so pulled to be a stay at home mom, my husband is working as a self employed daycare owner and is trying to find a way to make it work; today the benefits and pension are so unique and unheard of that I am not sure it is a feasible move; but my husband feels pushed also ; I am just praying it isn’t my “need” that might jeopardize our futures. Thanks so much for the post and comments they help me daily.

  11. Oh Amy! How my heart needed to hear this today…me and my foolish pride! As my eyes devoured the words on the screen, my mind was consumed with simultainous thoughts and convictions. I am kneeling on the threshold of seeking God’s direction. As a full-time teacher and mom of three – sometimes I question the God-sized dream in my heart for ministry. I love my God-given role as mom and definitely enjoy teaching, but feel passionate about pursuing my call into ministry. You reminded me of our conversation this fall on the conference call (which was a gift from God) and I am realizing that I can not allow my waiting to turn into wanting what others have already obtained. Thank you for the very real confessions and the timely reminder to ask God for help in un-mixing my motives. Blessings on you today! You are loved.

  12. Veronica Correa says:

    This was a great reminder….I started in the ministry when I was 12 yrs. old as a praise dancer in our church and was also involved in kids and women’s ministry, I think because I started so young I was able to see members from the church who were in it for “the title” and people who truly knew they had a call on their life. I would always pray at different seasons of my life…” Lord I pray I would never be cought up in the “title” but that you would ALWAYS be glorified. I recently moved for my husbands job and am currently going to a new church, I am not in ministry at this time, but quietly waiting on The Lord. Thank you Amy for this reminder as I soon hope to get back into ministry.

  13. Meghan Collins says:

    Thank you Amy for your encouraging words!
    I am 26 years old and I have been in ministry full-time volunteering for the last 10 years. I have been the head leader of youth ministries and youth director for a long time. I have learned so much in my years of ministry, but the one thing that I feel I lost was my humbleness. For the last couple of years I could feel a still voice telling me “To be Still.” I ran ran and ran for ministry, leading so many things, that God’s voice got lost in the business, “I was becoming a Martha.”
    About six months ago I went through a season, I heard God’s voice loud and clear,”You need to be a supportive wife right now.” Wow! that was the hardest thing I have ever done and I listened. I gathered our lead church team together and told them I needed to step down as Youth Directer. A few weeks later, “not expected at all.” My husband tells me he has applied for a worship pastor positon at a church several states away. Thinking nothing of it because we were from a small town and this was a large church in a big city. “I thought what are the odds.” I also had a feeling that I needed to prepare to move. “I was like really God.?? Why do I have this feeling that my life is going to be turned upside down.
    Well 2weeks later we are asked to make the biggest move of our life. We left everything, my husband had to leave first and I was left to sale the house and pack everything, so he could focus on his new job. Well, I now see why God has called me to be a supportive wive! lol! And man, am I glad I listened.
    We are finally getting settled, but I am trying to find my place at our new home. Which is away from friends, family, and anyone we know. It’s hard for me to sit back and not lead. I am like you, I have a passion to speak to women, to speak life into them and others. However, I am struggling to find my new place. I want to make sure that my motives are His callings and not mine. Your words spoke deeply to me today. I don’t want to cloud my thoughts with my inner motives. I want to make sure they are pure and of God. Thank you for you insight!

    • Meghan, I LOVE hearing about your steps of obedience!! You’re an inspiration to me this morning. I know from experience how difficult a move is, so I’m praying for you during this time of adjustment.

  14. Thank you for your words today. I am a teacher. I feel that God is calling me to do more, but not sure if it’s his whispering or my own desire to be ‘someone’. I’ve always wanted to do something big for God, but feel like that desire is coming from a impure motive to be well known. I think I want to speak, but don’t feel I have much to speak about that is worthy of a large crowd. I don’t do well with criticism either so when you speak you open yourself up to all sorts of things. I have gifts but I’m not sure how to use them that will make a difference in someones life. I guess I don’t want to wake up when I’m old and realized I missed so many opportunities. I’ve really scaled back my responsibilities to try to create space in my mind and schedule so I can figure these things out. Thanks for giving me some words that will marinate for a while in my mind. You’ve set me on a good path.

  15. Carolyn Thompson says:

    This is a powerful message I’ve received from you today…..and I’m confident it is a message from our Lord!!
    God has impressed my heart for 2014 to ……BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD..PSA. 46:10. This verse has come to me continually over the past four to five months. I want to be obedient to God and plan to focus on …being still before Him so He can “speak” to me….as well as praying and being in His word, doing personal Bible Studies, research and reading books, listening and watching Christian DVD’s & CD’s, writing/journal my walk with Him during this season of my life and viewing Christian websites of God Fearing and transparent women, such as this one!! May God bless you and all you do in 2014!

  16. Carolyn Thompson says:

    …………WOW!!! God is going to really have to do a lot of work on me this year!!!! I just read the post I did, and I asked myself why did I post all the things I listed; I think I wanted to be “more” instead of “nothing”. Please forgive me Lord!
    ……………I’ve always been an “ACTIVE” servant of the Lord and this is only 3 days into …”being still”……..can you imagine what I will be like by the end of 2104:):):)

  17. I have dealt with this issue a long time until I prayed and begin to detox my soul, so know i am learning how to live from the inside out. The heart have to be healed to be set free from this spirit I call selfish.

  18. Thank you Amy for writing such a great, transparent article! I too have experienced similar envy, and over the years have asked God to purify my heart of wrong motives. They still pop up every now and then and have to be put back in their place, always seeking to exalt Christ rather than myself.

  19. This is a very informative article. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. It has caused me to ponder areas of wrong motives in my heart. God has dealt with me in length about a pure heart. Maybe this is a continuation of that. 🙂 God bless you richly!

  20. Carmen Dunlop says:

    I just finished reading this devotional and my prayer has been for God to create in me a clean heart as well. This past year has been hard in all ways and I have let dust settle on my heart and allowed sin (bitterness, resentment, self pity, selfishness) to hinder my love for my Lord. I have been envious of those around me who’s adult daughters are serving God and living righteous lives, while mine continues to disobey God. I have withdrawn from my Christian friends and have allowed my heart to harden. It has been a real trap and I am slowly making my way out of this pit. I really want my heart, my motives, my desires to be pure and godly! So thank you for sharing this with us and being so open.

  21. Carmen Dunlop says:

    Also I really like the two questions you ask yourself when making a choice, I plan on using those to help me in the next little while as I get back on track! Bless you!

  22. Thanks for a wonderful devotional Amy. I look forward to future ones from you.

  23. Amy,
    Thank you for this devotional today. I have been praying, asking if God wants me to apply for a different job. Your message confirmed what He has whispered so many times; I am to stay at my current job. He is trying to refine me through the fire of my current position. I know my motives for wanting to leave are fear of my current boss and unforgiveness for the ways she has treated me and many others in the past.
    Please pray for God to give me the strength and endurance I need. I need His grace if He indeed means for me to remain in this place. I have been humbling myself, and working as if unto the Lord for this boss for four and 1/2 years now and have become physically ill as a result of the anxiety. Perfect love casts out fear, so I also need prayers to understand His love for me in this very difficult situation. I hope this trial is almost over, and that my faith is proven genuine afterward!
    Thank you again,
    Laurey

    • Laurey, your courage in staying inspires me! I’m praying for you as you persevere in your job, and I trust God to give you all you need as you choose to be obedient to Him.

  24. W.m. Peacock says:

    Seek and you’ll find ,knock and you’ll find that the door is open ! Jesus came to set the prisoners (both physical and spiritual ) Free . King Lemuel’s mom starts off telling her son Self control means Self control .
    Origen said that if Jews were given power they would stone people , but if Christians were in power they would not!
    Athenagorus said it would not do any good to enlist Christians into the military because Christians would not even look at an execution much less carry out a killing ,and if they were to advance in the ranks they would not carry out orders to execute people !
    Tertulllian said the same type things ! Please educate yourselves in the unadulterated beauty of early Christian ethics . And then ask yourself am I A Conservative or have I been clinging on to a perverted idea of the true gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ?

  25. A perfect message for me – timely especially. My husband and I have been married for 36 years. We are now both in our 60’s. We are trying to seek God’s Will for us. We have indeed felt a call for a particular action we want to take. I have started an email to tell others what our call and action is. But, something has held me back from posting it online. And now I know why. Today’s message defined why. Because my motives for posting are not pure of heart, as I prayed about it. Posting would be good in one sense – as it might help someone else take the same action; however, those people inclined to do it already do NOT need me to give them the idea. They can come up with it on their own. No help needed. My purity of heart is at stake. I thank you so much for today’s message. Perfect timing, but isn’t God always perfect?

  26. I so appreciate this post about putting others first. I was raised by parents who constantly reminded me that others come first. Once they’re taken care of, then you can tend to yourself. I’ve kept that with me my whole life. A couple years ago I went to see a Christian counselor so I could vent my frustrations and get some help solving my problems. When she told me I had to focus on me and forget everyone else, I stopped seeing her. It was completely contrary to what I had learned and had seen work. Each time I’ve put others first, God has always made sure my problems were addressed.
    My purpose in this life is to make a difference wherever I go, whomever I see. Service, focusing on others, is the requisite trait to do that.
    I praise God for allowing me to see that purpose in my life.

  27. Angela Oei says:

    I just finished reading this devotion and my heart is so heavy. My husband has been alienated from his children for so long. Thousand of dollars later, no difference has been made. Throughout it all I know my motives for emails, actions, and thoughts toward his former wife have not been a Christ centered mind. The hurt and anger of how a mother could behave so badly and also be a children’s minister just pulls my heart strings in the wrong direction at times. My husband has prayed and felt God leading him to stop fighting and spending so much money and trust God that He will fight the fight for him. I pray for clarity and my future responses and actions to have pure motives and love and forgive through Christ. I know I cannot fix or mend the wounds of my husband’s heart, but I can choose to pray for God to show me my motives and call me out when I am acting on emotion and pain, and not the love of Christ. I choose today to be free in Christ Jesus.

  28. Thanks for the post. I needed to hear that today. God bless you in your service.
    Love from Australia. Hanan.

  29. Dear Amy, Thanks so much for this post and your effort to bless women. Women ARE being blessed through you. I thank the Lord I saw this, as I was convicted about something. I believe the Lord called me to speak to a friend about something, yet I now feel part of my motive is my own pride/selfishness. I pray my heart gets right before speaking, or perhaps the Lord didn’t call me to and I heard from “myself”, not “Him”. Ugh… LORD HELP ME HAVE PURE MOTIVES, HELP ME HEAR YOU CLEARLY AND GIVE ME STRENGTH TO OBEY WHEN YOU CALL ME. Reading your post made me cry, and humbled my heart…. It’s a continual process. Thank you, and God bless you!

  30. A friend sent me this devotional. I believe nothing happens by happenstance or coincidence. I am grateful God has allowed me to read and meditate on this. Thank you for sharing your experiences with God.

  31. Dear Amy, Thank you for your timely message. I am a “old” Christians walking in and out of God n=many times and only came back more stably over the last year. My comments may not be directly linked with yours but I need help from someone to “interpret” if it is God’s words.

    I have been attending visiting 2 church – Church A for about 4 months and a church which I picked up guitar (my passion) and visited a cell for a few times. I am attached to the small group of 6 guitarists who comes together to practice together after service every Sunday but I am not connected to the cell group. For reasons of discomfort at how some people judge me and make conclusion about me and for not being able to get the prayer support of the pastor after 3 attempts, I walked away from this church and visited (run away to)another church – whom I know the Pastor for many years. Both churches offers strong biblical based teaching of the word.
    I asked God which should be my home church the weekend before Christmas weekend. I know that my preference was linked to the guitar sessions nothing else and I know it is not supposed to be that way. Christmas day, someone in he music ministry asked if I wish to be a shadow guitarist – to turn on the mic only when I am confident. (I wondered if it was God’s answer because I had hinted my interest months before but was not given the opportunity). I next read a devotion “Be Obedient” and the next “stop running”.

    Are these God talking to me? I am a Christian with little faith and no confident that someone like me will be able to hear God in this manner. I couldn’t ask anyone cos they only tell me to wait on God. But yet whilst I felt quite convicted that God is telling me to stay with the first church, my heart seems to stay with the 2nd church because the pastor gives good advice and am very encouraging to me, as a person.

    Can you advise me? I am all so confused now that I do not know if I should attend church.

    • I don’t know how to advise you about the choice itself, but just this morning I was looking back at some guidelines Lysa TerKeurst gives in her book What Happens When Women Say “Yes” to God. She says, “There is no magic formula for being able to discern God’s voice. We can learn to recognize it the way we recognize the voices of those close to us: by knowing Him. And when we know Him, we can tell if what we’re feeling led to do is from Him or not.” She then list 5 questions to ask:
      • Does what I’m hearing line up with scripture?
      • Is it consistent with God’s character?
      • Is it being confirmed through messages I’m hearing at church or studying in my quiet times?
      • Is it beyond me?
      • Would it please God?
      I know that since you are seeking Him about this decision, He’ll be faithful to guide you. I’m praying God shows you the church home where you can plant, be challenged and grow.

  32. Nganglung says:

    This is my day1 of deciding to live a life with God as my focus. I fel inspired by your words and story and selfless commitment. I pray for God’s grace to guide me through against all odds.

  33. Thank you so much for posting this today. I needed to hear it.

  34. Amy! I love this post. Thank you. I am going to steal/borrow the 2 questions you ask yourself – does this put me or others first? Is this choice to be more or to be nothing? These are just the pinpoint questions I needed. And – I know you got the cute outfit – you wore it when I had the pleasure of meeting you and listening to you speak! You are a blessing. Thank you.

  35. Last night I blogged about my struggle with yelling, pride and making myself an idol in my life. Though some of the things in this devotion were much different situations, it all boils down to the exact same thing. Today I am making the decision to write scripture on the walls and doorposts of my home. I am going to spend a few minutes to write out scripture and put it in areas I spend the majority of my day in hopes to remind myself constantly about what God says about me and the direction he is calling me toward in my life.

    Thanks for your post. Be blessed.

  36. Thank you for your timely words…the questions are going everywhere! Gotta get my motives in line with the will of God!

  37. check it out

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