Saturday, February 9, 2019

Put to the Test - Martin Wiles

Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. Psalm 26:2 NLT

His decision could have cost him his job.

My grandfather worked for the same company all his life. But now the company had been sold . . . rather, franchised out. His new boss tested him with unreasonable requests, unlike his previous boss.

My grandfather was retirement age when the change took place—already drawing his Social Security check. As the new boss kept giving commands that ruffled my grandfather’s feathers, he could have told him “to take this job and shove it.” But he didn’t. He politely obeyed each request. His demeanor wouldn’t allow him to do differently. And my grandfather continued working for the new boss until he was 72 and his knees wouldn’t allow him to climb up and down from the ice cream truck anymore.

As the new boss tested my grandfather, so the psalmist invited God to do the same with him. He challenged God to test his motives . . . his heart. If he wasn’t sincere in his service to God, he wanted God to reveal that to him.

I have done the same as the psalmist, but asking God to test my motives is a frightening experience. I worry over what the test might reveal. Yet, I should regularly ask what the psalmist did.

Motives for actions are easily disguised. Others can’t see the motives for my honorable actions. It may appear I truly want to serve the needy, to give a large donation to a worthy cause, to help a friend, or to volunteer editing for a devotional website when I’m really doing all those things only for a pat on the back, a trophy, or an embedded plague.

While I can hide my motives from others, I can’t hide them from me—or God. Deep inside, I know the truth, and so does God. We both know whether my motives are pure or whether some underlying reason exists for my actions.

God wants us to serve—in whatever capacity—out of love and appreciation. The way Jesus served us. Saving our souls was His motive. There was nothing in it for Him. When we understand His great sacrifice and the nature of our salvation, we’ll serve others because we’ve been served, not as an attempt to repay Him—which we can’t. We’ll serve out of love, and nothing more. 

Ask God to put your motives to the test.

Prayer: Father, test our hearts so that our motives might be as pure as gold. 

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