What is its motivation?

Post title from Galaxy Quest – a fantastic movie:

Sir Alexander Dane : You’re just going to have to figure out what it wants. What is its motivation?
Jason Nesmith : It’s a rock monster. It doesn’t have motivation.
Sir Alexander Dane : See, that’s your problem, Jason. You were never serious about the craft.

But seriously…

Chapter four in The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges is about the Holiness of Christ. Bridges argues that we must understand the righteousness of Christ so that when we become more aware of our own sin we can be reassured by the fact that it is Christ’s righteousness that is credited to us. And we can look to the life of Christ as an example of holy living that we should follow.

Christ’s holiness was not just the absence of actual sin, but a perfect conformity to the will of His Father. This includes His actions, attitudes, and motives. We can rest in this, we can flee to this when we are under attack and when we are discouraged by our own sinfulness.

Bridges refers to the hymn Just As I Am, Without One Plea (see below), which is a hymn we will be singing this Sunday in church. As the Holy Spirit begins to open our eyes and reveal our sins to us, Satan attempts to use this very knowledge to discourage us and convince us we are unworthy and not really Christians. We must remember that we are unworthy but we bring nothing to our own salvation. We receive that freely from Christ.

So, if Christ is to be our example of a holy life, we must look at the question “do I always do what pleases God?” This is how Christ presented his life (John 8:29). Is it how I could present my own? Bridges points out we often do good things for the admiration of others, not to please God. We do many things just to please ourselves, with no thought for the glory of God. The high road we are to pursue is to please God in all we do.

This reminded me of a great blog entry I read earlier today by Paul Tripp. The title is Parenting: It’s Never an Interruption and it deals with the motives of the parent. Here’s how he puts it:

Along with this, you and I must remember that our Lord loves our children more than we ever could, and his commitment to their growth and change is more faithful and persevering than ours could ever be. Because of this, in his grace and love, he will manufacture moments that expose the needy hearts of our children to us. He will faithfully employ the little moments of everyday life to expose to us and our children their need of rescuing and forgiving grace. And he will not do this only at the moments that you feel are appropriate and when you feel most prepared.

Then he relays a great story of an outing with his family where he had one set of expectations and God apparently had a different set. (bolding mine)

What’s going on is that a God of grace is taking a mundane moment of daily family life and using it to do something wonderful for my children and for me. He is making the condition of their hearts visible in order to produce concern in me that would hopefully result in awareness and a desire to change in them. But I’m not at all encouraged in this moment with what God is doing. You see, I’m not angry in the parking lot because my children are sinners. No, I’m angry that God has exposed their sin, and because he has, I have to forsake my agenda for the day and parent them! It all seems like a huge imposition, a hassle that I just didn’t want to deal with.

A few paragraphs later he sums it up with this line: “But my problem is that there are moments when I tend to love my little kingdom of one more than I love his”

That right there is my single biggest problem. I really recognize this, even thought I do not parent children day-to-day. In my interactions with my husband, my mother, my friends, my co-workers – what is my motivation? Do I take my craft (living a holy life) seriously?

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

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