Drive and ambition motivated by power, influence, and wealth is very different than drive and ambition motivated from a sense of purpose that goes beyond ourselves. It is possible that no one will ever know your motivations behind why you work hard and why you want to succeed but we answer to God, the only one capable of knowing the motivations of our heart.
In 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 David gave a huge affirmation as he appointed his son, Solomon, to lead Israel. In this affirmation speech, David told Solomon he would be the one to go on and build the temple. Picture Solomon as a young man, about to be handed over the keys to all the power and influence he could ever want. This would be the tipping point for many of us. What would we do with that kind of power and influence? Would we steward it well or would we hoard it for ourselves? This was Solomon’s major test and here is what David said to him:
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”
We are all being called on by God to do something. For each of us that could mean any number of things. What is God calling you to do today? In Solomon’s case, it was to build the temple but like David said to Solomon, God is asking that we serve Him alone. If God searches the heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts, I don’t know about you but I want my motives to be pure because I want God to bless and be a part of whatever “temple” he is asking me to build.
Solomon was ambitious and he had a lot of drive but he didn’t allow his level of drive and ambition to exceed his seeking the heart and mind of God. God later told Solomon He would grant him whatever he wanted. Solomon did not ask for riches, wealth, or honor but he asked for wisdom. He asked for wisdom because his drive, ambition, and heart’s motivation was to serve the Lord and bring glory to His name.
If our motivations are anything less than bringing glory to His name, we’ve missed the mark. If you’re thinking of your closest friend right now who struggles with this, you’ve also missed the mark. This message is for me, you, and, anyone with a beating heart. Our human natures are wired to be selfish and Solomon knew that this wasn’t something he could change himself. God needed to do it for him. Like Solomon, we should all ask for wisdom and for God to reveal to us His heart and mind.
By going to God and asking Him to give us wisdom and show us His heart and mind, what we are doing is surrendering to Him. You can’t will your own motives. It is only by the supernatural power and grace of God that we will be freed from the chains that bind us when we think this world is all about us. God is the only one that can change us.
Will you go to him today and ask for Him to change your heart? Will you go to Him and ask for Him to take away your selfish motives and replace it with wisdom and love? When He empowers us with motives to do great things for His name’s sake, our lives will have impact beyond measure.