Motive is an incentive to act; a reason for doing something; anything that prompts a choice of action. It’s more like a theme or subject, especially one that is central to a work action or often repeated. As human beings, we have a lot of reasons behind what we do and how we do them. I made sure I said “what we do” and “how we do them” because, when it comes to the dealings of God, it’s always not about the result, the processes involved is almost important, if not more important.
Let’s take Moses for example, if we read through Numbers 20, the people of Israel needed water and began to blame Moses and Aaron. Both of them sought the face of God and God gave them a clear and simple message (Numbers 20:8). But when it was time for execution, did Moses follow the process? And was it the desired result they got? –Numbers 20:11. We can see clearly that Moses broke the process, but the same purposed result was gotten.
This is one thing I have learnt about people’s action and reaction to getting desired results.
You see, sometimes we toil with motive, we play with reason, we act carefree about motivation, we cut corners and funnily, still get the result we wanted. Have you noticed that even when you cut corners and take shortcuts, you get the desired result? Even when you cheat in an exam, you don’t fail… do you? You still pass.
Look at the life of Samson, Ananais and Saphira, Joseph, Jesus, Paul, Simeon the Sorcerer, and Hannah. The lives of these men and women show motive, whether through intuition and sentimental study (which of course, must be inspired by the Spirit of God) or by clear and simple understanding of the Word. If you critically examine the life of all these men, you will understand why they did some of the things the Bible recorded them to do.
Simeon the sorcerer’s motive was clearly explained by Paul in Acts 8:18-21. Peter, by the help of the Spirit of God, saw the motive behind his request for the same results they had.
Can I ask you a question? Why do you do all you do, whether for God or for man? Because, I tell you this; man will give you choice of motive. Whether you believe it or not, or you accept it or not, or you are aware about it or not. Man will give you choice of motive.
Remember we said motive is the reason for doing something, the incentive to act. Whenever we deal with men, knowingly or unknowingly, you are given the choice of identifying why you are doing that thing, whether you are aware of it or not.
Let me give you an example. In the four walls of a church, when you are about to give your offering, and on the offering envelope, you see a verse (I don’t want to mention one) that changes what your heart had proposed to give. Or you see the amount your neighbor wants to give and that’s creates a level of inferiority in your heart.
The question I am asking you is, what was your earlier motive, and what is the new motive? Because, since you desired to give a certain amount as offering, was the motive based on tradition and culture, and not spirituality and reference. Or was it because you want to create a certain impression for the next person sitting beside you, by the amount you openly slide into the envelope for all to see?
Even though these things seem or look very minor, they are the things God vets in a man. The Bible doesn’t say God loves a wealthy giver, remember!
In your free time, meditate on Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 12:34; and Proverbs 21:2. It is from the emotions, decisions and pre-played actions in the heart of a man that largely determines his exterior actions. And this exterior actions are based on motive… Why???
“Why” is the question of motive. We must understand that the “WHY?” determines the “HOW?”
It’s true, your motive determines your process. My message her is to admonish us. I’m here to remind us. Why are you going to church? My questions are to check you and me, so we can know if we are losing focus; if we are losing concentration.
What’s your motive behind all you are doing both for God and man? If you were left unsupervised for the rest of your life, would you still be the church-addict everyone knows you as? Being a church addict doesn’t make you better than someone who isn’t, as long as the person has a right standing with God in his secret place. But, you that is a church-addict, what is the motive?
Are you playing those Christian songs for your roommate to think of you as a deep Christian?
Brothers and Sisters, I stand here to tell you that when Jesus was speaking in Matthew 7, He was talking about motive. Matthew 7:21-22 says,
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.”
Motive is what will differentiate eye-service from sacrificial and compassionate service. In all you do for the Lord, remember this!
“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
You see, some of our prayers are not answered and God holds back some blessings because of the problem of motive. If the reasons is not right or pure, God is not going to answer. We have to get this. Except through His mercy, God will wait until you get your reasons right (James 4:2-3).
Brothers and Sisters, “right motive” in this kingdom is not about morality or compassion or whatever you may think of. “Right motive” is according to the degree to which that motive conforms to the agenda – Thy kingdom come! (Philippians 2:3; 1 Timothy 1: 5).
The right motive comes from true love – agape. May this be our reality in Jesus name. Amen.