Years ago, while still in Bible school, I heard a quote from one of my most respected teachers. It went something like this: “A man can preach a great sermon, and actually get a demerit for it because his motive was wrong. An author can write a great book and get a demerit for it because his motive, too, was wrong. A person can sing a great song and also get a demerit for it because of wrong motives. Oh, how important this principle is in our Christian walk!”
That statement made a great impact on me early in my Christian life.
Then, later on, I read a word preached by Smith Wigglesworth that also confirms the importance of this principle. During a question and answer time with Bible school students, Wigglesworth was asked a question having to do with knowing the leading of the Spirit. Here is the question and Wigglesworth’s answer, just as it was recorded:
Question: “When we have a strong impression to do a thing, how do we know that it is the Holy Spirit speaking?”
Answer: “Hundreds of people are in this dilemma, to get to the mind of God. The first thing you must always keep in mind is that when you are living in the perfect will of God, you only will that which is purposed in His will.
If you are not living in that perfect attitude toward God, you may have any amount of thoughts of your own nature that you will find brings you into difficulty. It is the easiest thing to get the mind of the Lord when your whole heart’s only desire is the will of the Lord. That will save you from a thousand troubles.
Are you so in touch with God that the desire of your mind is purity regarding that thing you want to be done? Has it the sanction of purity? Would Christ desire that thing? If so, the moment you pray, you will have the witness of the Spirit and it will coincide with the will of God.
But the difficulties are that people want the Lord’s revelation in a carnal manner or a carnal life or where there is some human thing.
Ask yourself these things: Why you are in the meeting, why you want to live, why you want to go to the conventions, why you want to be pastor, why you are anxious this morning. Act and you will be freed.
If I can find out that I want to be in Angeles Temple for anything but for the glory of God and the extension of His kingdom, then I am in sin. If I want to be heard, I am wrong. If I want to be seen, I am wrong. If I want to be honored, I am wrong.
But if I want Christ, if I want to preach because I want to advocate His glorious Gospel, if I want to be seen only because I want to exhibit His Spirit, if I am here for the advancement of the glory of Christ, then things are as easy as possible.”
Hear the heart of our lovely Jesus: “I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame]…” (John 5:41 – Amp.)
Every wise believer would do well to make this attitude their aim in life. It is the mind of Christ.
What a word this is! It shall determine your eternal destiny and your position in the millennial reign. Keep the motives to the desires of your heart pure. With all your heart pursue this spirit of holiness.
When you want what God wants for the same reasons He wants it, you shall shine brightly in the kingdom of our Father forever.