Duncan Campbell, who was mightily used by God during the revival in the Hebrides, told how his car broke down late one night during the war. Street lighting was not permitted and the only light available to him was that of a searchlight as it scanned the sky. The searchlight exposed the source of the problem as it penetrated into his car bonnet exposing what was wrong.
Our text for today speaks of God’s searchlight penetrating into the very depths of a person where motives are hidden. Wherever His light shines it exposes what is hidden in darkness. The Bible speaks of ‘The light of God’s presence’ (Psalm 89:15; Psalm 90:8.) The picture is that of the holy light of God illuminating the hidden corners of the human heart, exposing its dark secrets and bringing into the light the things that we would like to conceal even from ourselves.
The dictionary definition of a motive is, “Something that causes a person to act in a certain way; something that prompts an action; the reason you do something in a certain way; someone’s real reason for doing something which may not be the reason they portray to other people.” Motives are to do with integrity or lack of integrity. God desires integrity of heart.
The Bible shows that God is very much concerned about motives. Indeed He searches the heart to expose the motive – the reason why we do something. What we do may seem right to us, but God is very interested in the reason for doing it. ‘A man’s ways may seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord’ (Proverbs 16:2).
Motives are probably not something that we think very much about, but they are of high priority to the One who commands us on more than one occasion,
Firstly, the Lord Jesus could come again today. When He comes we will each stand before Him and we will be judged according to the motives of our own heart. Not on what we have done but why we have done it. ‘He will bring to light what is hidden in the darkness, and will expose the motives of men’s hearts’ (1 Corinthians 4:5). For this reason we should definitely not judge others, but rather judge ourselves.
Secondly, wrong motives block God answering prayer. ‘When you ask you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives’ (James 4:3). Ask for the right things with the right motives and God will never fail to answer prayer.
Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and search out my secret sins and hidden motives. Point out in me anything that offends You. By Your Spirit working in me, change me and give me a pure heart, a heart like the heart of Jesus. Please put within me a burning desire to honour You in all that I do. Amen.