Heart Motives

In 1984 I suffered an accidental gunshot would to my heart.  I almost died.  Technically speaking… I did die, several times!  Earlier this week, I identified a number of key individuals whose motivations and actions (regarding the efforts to save my life) were absolutely selfless!

Our lives and the choices we make have an impact.  The motives that drive our decisions tip the scales one way or another resulting in either positive or negative impacts.  Not only in our own lives and in the lives of our friends and loved ones... but also in the lives of people we may never even have the chance to know personally!

The people identified: my friend’s parents, the EMT’s, doctors, nurses, and the care flight crew... all acted selflessly.  Each motivated by the single desire to do what they could, contributing to the efforts to save my life!

But, what if my friend’s parents, instead of acknowledging the severity of the situation, had simply broken out the first aid kit and treated my gunshot wound with ointment and a band-aid? Or, embarrassed at having an accident of this sort happen at their home… what if they had waited just 10 more minutes in making the decision to call for help?

What if the EMT studying to become an ER doctor had bought into the lie that he was just too old to go back to school?  Or, a low self esteem had convinced him he just wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor?  What dire consequences to me could have resulted if he had put off returning to college and training by even one semester?  What if he had decided the attempt to save my life just too risky to gamble his future on?

What if hearing me complain of chest pains and not wanting to be bothered with the stress of a gunshot wound, the team in Roosevelt had given me antacid and waited to see if that worked?  Or, the care flight crew, learning I’d never flown in a helicopter before, opted to take me sightseeing instead of straight to the hospital and open heart surgery in Salt Lake City?

All along that path any number of choices motivated by varying conflicts of self interest could have led to a drastically different outcome for me.  Had even one person in that team of people been motivated by self interest and consequently made a selfish choice, I likely would not be here today pondering, writing… alive!

I am very thankful to God!

God orchestrated these events and I’m so thankful for each individual who contributed to giving me the opportunity to survive my accident.  God used the hands and feet of these selfless individuals to give me a second chance at life.

What an awesome thing to be used of God in such miraculous ways!

When is the last time God used you to be a miracle in someone else’s life?  Our motives have great bearing on our decisions... and in turn, how fully we are aware of the work God is doing all around us!  He has invited us to be participants… but, we must accept that invitation.

Oh, we can (and do) try to force participation via means of our own making!  Any number of "things" can drive our lives and our decisions.  Sometimes, even being driven by bad motive, we can accomplish seemingly great things.  But, apart from Christ, we can have no part in the Father’s work.  The end product cannot and does not justify the means.

Either you are surrendered to the Father, motivated and moved by His love—or you are not, and whatever fruit produced is not of His doing or power.  In fact, Revelation 3:15-16 puts it this way: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Jesus is our example.  In all things, He lived a totally surrendered life to the Father.  There were no actions He took without first the Father directing it.  We are called to that same life.  Jesus has made the way possible for us to be dead to our old self-centered nature and fully alive in Him.

And, Jesus wants to live His life in you, through you, AS YOU!  But, in order for that to occur, we must live Spirit-led, surrendered lives. "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30).

A great resource for discovering this truth more deeply is the book The Rest of the Gospel by Dan Stone (Christ in You; Christ as Us) and David Gregory.

How are you doing?

We all must continually check the motives of the heart.  It's easy to be motivated by self-centeredness and selfish gain.  And, once thusly motivated, we easily find ways to justify our self-centeredness.

Take some time with Father today to do a bit of diagnosis!  Is your life and ministry motivated by anything other than Father’s love?  Are you busy doing anything Father has not directed you to be doing?  Are miracles a common occurrence in and around you… or, are they few and far between—or worse, only stories that you've heard about in others lives?

Whatever you discover, talk it over with Father.  Commit anew to the surrendering of the old nature to the grave—and to allowing Jesus to inhabit you fully and in every area and corner of your life.