"What is your motive for serving Me?"
That is the question the Lord has been asking me a lot over the last couple of months. To preface what I am about to talk about, I have been experiencing a period of refining in my spiritual life. What I mean by that is that the Lord has been removing the parts of me that are not like Him and replacing them with more of Himself. When you give the Lord your yes to refine you, you do not know what that is going to look like. You do not know what He is going to reveal in your life that you have hidden deep in the recesses of yourself.
One thing I have been learning is that I have a lot of pride. Specifically, the calling God Himself placed on my life. I had bowed my heart to the position instead of the Giver of the position. I had taken more pride in the calling than developing the connection with the Giver of the calling. I had forsaken my source.
I heard a quote a few months ago that brought me to my knees before Jesus and is still bringing me back to that place even now. It goes like this: "Consider this: How much of our time with Jesus and serving Him is influenced by our desire to get what we want? We may have spent time in God's Word, prayed, fasted, served vigorously in the church and other ministries with the underlying thought, 'How can I do things for God to get ME into MY purpose?'"
If you felt that hit you like a train, then you are experiencing how it hit me. Serving God should never be about ourselves. Ephesians 2:1-6 reminds us of who it is all about:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience -- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -- by grace you have been saved -- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (ESV).
It is always and forever about Jesus. We were dead. We were powerless in changing our situation. We were by nature children of wrath...but God!
The only reason we can experience true life, incalculable love, mercy, joy and peace from our position in the heavenly places is because of the One True King: King Jesus. No amount of prayer, service, reading of the Word, fasting or any other work that we do is sufficient. Our heart should be after one thing and one thing only: Jesus Himself.
We should desire to dwell in His presence continually, walking in a real relationship with Him because of what He did. Everything else -- the calling, the ministry, the time spent in the Word, prayer and fasting -- will all flow from the relationship we have with Him. It should forever be about Him!