Do you know you can believe the preaching of God’s Word but still be off base? Check out Simon the ex-sorcerer in Acts 8:4-25.
When our desire is for the miracle and not for the Miracle-Maker, rest assured our motives are not right. This guy, Simon, apparently had done some amazing things. The people praised him saying “This man is a great power of God.” But Simon wasn’t of God, he was of self.
Oh how important it is to measure our self against God’s standards, allowing His righteousness to be our plum line. That’s why we study the Bible, to understand God and our self better.
I can relate to Simon. When I was trapped in perfectionism, I did all the “right” and “good” things. People praised me for my high standards, quality of work and reliability. On the inside, my heart craved the people’s attention and approval. I did those things for appear great in their eyes. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing your own press when there’s no internal compass keeping us centered on the Lord. It happened to Simon and to me before we knew the Lord Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how Simon’s story ends. But we do know how God radically changed me! The Purpose Driven Life book says, “It’s not about you”. Remembering that is crucial to staying focused on God.
Now when people praise me for good work, I turn it into an opportunity to remind others God deserves the credit. He enables me to do what I do and now I do these things to please Him. You know what? It’s a whole lot more fun working for God that working for my self!
How about you? What motivates you to do a good job? Is it praise or approval from people? Or is it for God’s pleasure?
Learn to live your life for an audience of One. It’s a lot less stressful knowing we don’t have to measure up to our own unrealistic standards.
Lord, thank you for setting us free from the approval of man. Thank you for changing our motives to be pure and right from you. Thank you for leading us on the pathway of your righteousness. In Jesus’ name Amen.
© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.