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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Motives

The Lord put this on my heart to write a few days ago and very honestly, I hesitated. Since then, He's given me two confirmations and I am repenting and writing as fast as I can. :)

I hesitated because this post felt a little harsh but sometimes the Lord corrects us sternly with a desire to bless us.

Several years ago the Lord spoke to me about 'motives.' Since then, I've examined my motives before I do most anything...blog, speak to someone, go somewhere, etc.  I believe the Lord cares about our motives more than He cares about our good works.

I believe that if our motives are not pure in what we're doing, the work will be burned up. In other words, we may as well not have done it. If our motive is to appear Godly, to have someone else think well of us, or to promote ourselves, we need to stop and get our hearts right before we do anything else.

If our motive is manipulation, we're really in trouble, because control and manipulation are a form witch craft.

Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives."

For some, this may be a new thought. They've believed that it was a given - that they should go to church, that they should attend the Bible study, that they should take that family a meal - but if the motive is not pure, we've gained nothing in God's eyes.


I think it's very easy for us to be influenced by a society where everyone wants to be a superstar, where everyone wants to be recognized on social media, and where humility and servanthood are not things to be desired. But it's desired by God. 

Matthew 6:3 tells us, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing," We are to keep our good works secret, not flaunt them, and certainly not seek recognition for the things that God deserves all the glory for.
A few years back I was in a relationship with a pastor and his wife. I knew the Lord had put me in their church as an assignment. I was asked to be part of their worship team.

I typically start every day with worship. And so even before church on Sunday mornings, I was in the practice of spending time with God in worship and in His Presence. I had an opportunity to share this with this pastor, and his response was, "How long do you have to do this before you get into God's presence?" He saw this as a means to an end. His desire was not for God but for the benefits of God.
The Lord would later show me this man from His eyes. The man had a spirit of selfish ambition and I saw the word, "devour."
Philippians 2:3,4 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

This is to be our motive; that we first are glorifying God and then that we are seeking the good of others and never hoping to advance ourselves. 

love and blessings~



Friday, March 4, 2016

The Spirit of Gluttony

I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about the spirit of gluttony in church in all the years I've gone.  I started to write this a couple of days ago but paused, making sure I was in God's timing. Then I read something yesterday that confirmed to me that I was hearing Him.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether, therefore, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  We are to eat and drink to the glory of God.  How many of us have ever given thought to this verse?  But there's even more to it than that.



When I was about 35 years old, the Lord spoke to me one day and told me, "You have a spirit of gluttony."  I'm about 5'4" and at the time weighed about 110-115 lbs.  So I was surprised, to say the least. I expressed my confusion to the Lord and He began to explain.

The spirit of gluttony is when we find comfort for our flesh in things besides God. Our 'flesh' is the 'old man.' It's our sin nature. The spirit of gluttony is shopping when you're depressed. It's getting a new color and cut when you're feeling down. It's eating comfort foods when you don't want to deal with your emotions.

We might associate the spirit of gluttony with being over-weight, and rightly so, but this demon can manifest in other ways. It can drive a person to work out and be obsessed with their beautiful physique, because in some, it can partner with 'vanity.'

In our culture, the spirit of gluttony is celebrated. All of the celebrities that we see in the media comfort themselves and feed their flesh with every indulgence. We are told constantly to 'treat ourselves' with new makeup, new clothes and shoes and handbags. If our self-worth is low and we don't like the way we look, we can get a little botox or a whole lot of plastic surgery.

We are told constantly that we can make ourselves feel better by these things and that we don't need God. Some have gone to the other extreme and seek to make themselves feel better by starving themselves. But all have the same need - God. All are seeking 'a fix' to solve an inner lack.

One day when we were doing our 40 day Word fast, I was really struggling with exactly this. It was a blizzard outside and so I was staying home.  I was bored, not enjoying winter, and wasn't feeling motivated to work on a project. I wanted nothing more than to lie on the couch, under a warm blanket, fireplace burning, and watch movies all afternoon. Or read a book. I wanted to veg. I wanted an escape from my reality. I wanted to be entertained.

And because of my commitment to this fast, I couldn't. And it made me realize something.

What would Jesus do?

Jesus lived His life serving others. I can't imagine Him spending His afternoon on the couch, can you? Or at the movies. Someone always needed Him and although He used wisdom and followed God's leading completely, He never 'indulged' Himself. His only 'free time' was spent in prayer and fellowship with the Father. Jesus did not have a spirit of gluttony.

One of my sins that I've confessed to God and am asking Him to empower me to overcome is deciding my own schedule. Because I am not employed and our children are grown, I can do whatever I want. I can go out to lunch, go shopping, hang out at home all day, hang out with my daughter and grandchildren...whatever I 'feel' like doing.

But is that what God wants me to?

I continue to work on disciplining myself to have a schedule and to accomplish the things that I know God has set before me. I continue to discipline myself to eat more healthy and to prepare better meals for my family. And I'm continuing to discipline myself to listen to God and to do what He's telling me to do each day...to truly give Him my life, my time, and my goals.

I think the spirit of gluttony is very hard to starve out. And that's what we have to do. By not feeding this spirit, and for some that's literal, we dethrone it in our lives.

And as with everything else, we can't do this without our Saviour's help.

love and blessings~


photo credit: themost10.com