Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Motives of the Heart

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret."
~ Matthew 6:6

The main idea in the region of religion is -
Your eyes upon God, not on men.
Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man.
Get an inner chamber in which to pray where no one knows you are praying, shut the door and talk to God in secret.

Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.

But when ye pray use not vain repetitions . . . (v.7). God does not hear us because we are in earnest, but only on the ground of Redemption. God is never impressed by our earnestness. Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.
"Everyone that asketh receiveth." We pray pious blether, our will is not in it, and then we say God does not answer; we never asked for anything. "Ye shall ask what ye will," said Jesus. Asking means our will is in it. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, He put it with the grand simplicity of a child: we bring in our critical temper and say - Yes, but . . . Jesus said "Ask." But remember that we have to ask of God things that are in keeping with the God Whom Jesus Christ revealed. "

Brought to you by the number 777, the letter A and O, and by our dear brother Ozzie.
So, with that,
Would it be called discernment or judgmentalism to say that it is painfully obvious to me when someone is being forward in their words and actions with the intent to make it known how amazingly humble they are?
We're like the world in that in, the people of the world try to impress each other by what they think other people high buck sports car, or a huge house, or fancy clothes......but believers just do it up a bit different......we do it up like the Pharisees!!
We want people to admire us for our seeming humility or charity or works. This is all very icky.
It must be the most unattractive quality amongst us believers.......and honestly, I think that some of those who imitate the fruit of Christian humility may know it...... although most probably don't.
(I recognize plastic fruit that has been taped to the tree, only because I have much experience working in my own orchard..........real fruit and fake fruit can be distinguished by prayer and seeking to walk in the Spirit and please the Father.....first always -in our own orchards (hearts) )
A huge indicator to me that my abasement before God is not genuine, is if I am too quick to share it with people..........this, accompanied with the fact that as I'm sharing I get concerned with what they are thinking of my "abasement" and a hope that they won't see that it has not really struck my heart with the force with which I am claiming it has......(yet anyway)
Not that we shouldn't share our hearts ponderings with eachother....but we need to be slower to speak, checking our motives for sharing this or that.

Isn't caring what people think of you as you share something that is humiliting is really contradictory if you think about it ???? wellp........

Later bloggers ~
This post is dedicated to the people I love and pray for who recognize this tendency in themselves and hate it. To anyone who doesn't see themselves as a person who does this, I highly recommend the book "The Religious Affections" by Jonathan Edwards.

And P.S. to B ~ The most genuine and humble man that I know - by God's amazing grace,
You are a man among men.


At 11/08/2006 10:48 AM, Blogger Craver VII said...

Your passion (craving) for righteousness is a good thing.

Discernment or judgementalism to say that someone’s intentions are painfully obvious? That’s so subjective; nobody can answer your question but you.

You said we want people to admire us for our seeming humility or charity… That has two sides. One side is evil, but the other side is to respect the opinion of our brothers and sisters, and especially elders. I personally believe it’s impossible to have a perfectly pure motive this side of heaven.

Plastic fruit vs. real fruit… cool analogy. I’ll have to steal—I mean borrow that analogy some time.

We like bullet points, so here are a couple from Mr C:

- We can take people at their word and treat their overtures of humility and charity as if they were genuine, understanding that we do not completely know their motives. And if we dispense grace in these situations, I don’t believe it will be held against us. That of course would not apply for situations like interviews for work, church, babysitters, etc.
- Sometimes, it may be deemed necessary to speak a thing that we don’t feel yet, just because it’s the right thing to do. What I mean is, forcing my attitude to comply with humility or generosity, knowing full-well that in my heart, I’d rather be selfish. I say the words, hoping that the feeling will follow.

It is so funny that you mentioned “being slower to speak,” because my personal crusade lately has been trying to get people to loosen their tongues a little bit as it applies to confessing our sins to one another. My focus is on increasing accountability and transparency in order to facilitate healing. See my comment at my pastor’s blog for an example. Your words have not been lost on me though. We definitely need to be careful about what comes out of our mouths.

[Operator’s voice breaks in saying, “Please deposit thirty cents for the next five minutes…”]

(dial tone)

At 11/08/2006 11:49 AM, Blogger Jen2 said...

Mr.Craver - I have to say you've made some super helpful points.... bullet points.

I completely agree that we should believe the best about others.....truly (oftentimes wrestling with ourselves)
It's just that sometimes, no matter how hard I fight it...something is "off" in the way they talk.

Ha- glad you like my little plastic fruit's an oatmeal original. (I'm oatmeal, and I'm usually NOT very original)

In thinking about Pharisee affections to God.....and works and the most beautiful Christian graces (fruit) I got to thinking that plastic fruit looks so much like the real thing...and we can staple it to the tree to make it LOOK like it came forth from the tree.....such that none can tell that it is fake by merely viewing it with the naked eye.
As in, we should assume that other people's fruit, if it's there, is genuine.....since we cannot see if it was wrought by being vitally connected to the Father(tree or vine) or not.

THOUGH, I have to agree with my favorite author in one of the most simple of his analogies.
"The greatest evidence of a man's having an inclination to sit down, is him actually sitting down."

So, if persons are forward in there speech about how they feel or think about this or that....but there is no good evidence (fruit) in their practice -You can be sure that the inclination to DO good may not be the bent of their soul.
If what they profess is not worked out in their actions, their words are empty.

Men always do what their hearts lead them to fact they can't help BUT do that which they love to becomes them.
And if a man loves God above all things, his life is the proper thermometer, not his words.

Have you ever read any of Jonathan Edwards ?? If you love philosophy -and truth, you'll love Edwards.
or as I affectionately call him "Eddie"

Anycrux......way to qualify my original comments! I completely agree.


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