The Journey – The Motive Behind it All
Here are some of the motives people have when doing signs and wonders (obviously not comprehensive).
- because they want to get over their own fears
- because they want to see what they’re capable of
- because they want to see the miraculous
- because they want to be seen by others
- because they want attention
- because they want money
- because they want to build up a ministry/name/reputation
- because they want to prove someone else (or group) wrong
- because they want to validate/prove their own beliefs
- because they want to prove their identity
- because they want approval from God
- because they hate the devil
- because they want to do what Jesus said
- because they want to steward what they have been given
- because they want to provoke others to good works
- because they have compassion for the lost and broken
Reading through this list, I am sure you can pick out the “good” and “bad” motives. But the point I want to make is that there is a “good,” “better,” and “best.”
There is only one motive that Jesus repeatedly mentioned and demonstrated in the gospels, and that is, compassion. He did do what His Father said, He did have a hate for the work of the devil, He did provoke others to good works, but the only one he preached was compassion.
Every one of those motives that I listed, I’ve done at one point (good and bad), but I have since found that compassion must be the first and foremost motive while I am demonstrating this gospel.
About 8 months ago when I was first starting up, there was a point where I got bored even in the midst of seeing many, many miracles. Everything somehow started to become routine and the luster of seeing the impossible happen began to wear out.
I started from pure excitement to see what else I could do with resurrection power (Rom 8:11), to feeling completely satisfied because it felt like I was on top of the world, to feeling bored because I wasn’t seeing the “bigger” breakthroughs.
I was pondering this to myself when Holy Spirit matter-of-factly said, “You’re not walking in compassion, you’re not serving, you’re being selfish. This has been all about you you you.”
I thought for a few minutes and realized what I had done. I was healing the sick for my own satisfaction rather than having compassion for people and serving them.
Healing the sick had become about me, rather than the person in front of me.
“Which miracle I can see today?” rather than “How can I serve my brothers and sisters?”
“I can show you a miracle” rather than “I want you to experience the freedom that Christ has paid for.”
Why is this relevant?
Jesus placed a very high value on motive.
1.) Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)
Jesus never said charitable deeds were bad, but if you’re doing it with the wrong motive, “you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
2.) Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread… If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down… All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:1-11)
Jesus never denied his ability to do any of those things. The issue was not about the task, but whose voice He was listening to.
3.) And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Cor 13:2-3)
You can read someone’s mail, you can have the greatest revelation, you can have mountain-moving faith, you can feed the poor, you can die a martyr’s death, but if it isn’t because of the outworking of love, you’ve missed it.
Let me explain…
1.) If you are healing the sick for the purpose of getting a name or reputation, or building a ministry (to be seen by other people), you’ve missed it.
2.) If you are healing the sick for the purpose of proving your identity, or to prove someone else wrong, or prove your theology right, you’ve missed it.
If someone challenges you by saying “If you are who you say you are, prove it” or “If you can really do what you say you can do, prove it” you are being tempted on the level that Jesus was tempted.
My friend Cornel said this recently:
The greatest temptation is not porn, alcohol, drugs, success or wealth. The greatest temptation you will face is when you are asked to prove your identity by supernatural manifestations.
The devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and the Pharisees tempted him twice (Matt 12:38, Matt 16:1). Both times, Jesus passed the test and didn’t comply to their request.
3.) It is possible to do signs/wonders – even other things we have been commanded to do – without love and compassion.
‘Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:22-23
You can do everything Jesus did, but not actually know Him. You can mimic His acts, but still miss His ways. You can have all the supernatural signs and wonders, but not have supernatural Love.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
Again, to reiterate, not every single motive is bad. Healing the sick because you hate the devil and his work or because Jesus said to do it are both good motives. But let it first and foremost be because you have compassion for people.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Cor 13:13
If you’re walking in resurrection power, it is very easy to go back to your church to “prove” that healing is for today. It is easy to confront powerless preaching by demonstrating power.
It is easy to do miracles just because it’s exciting, but if compassion is not your first motive, people can tell when you are treating them like projects rather than a person.
It is easy to see miracles everyday, but it’s just as easy to get to a point where you do it mechanically, “Ok, be healed. Awesome. Jesus loves you. Bye” rather than flowing in compassion and actually caring about the person.
If you’re just starting out, it’s very easy to get caught up with seeing more miracles. That’s not bad in itself, but don’t stay there, learn to walk in compassion for people.
If you’re around old friends or skeptics and you want to show them real power, it’s tempting to get caught up in trying to prove that what you have is real, rather than walking in compassion.
If you’re praying for someone that seemingly isn’t getting better, it’s easy to get angry at the devil and have that become the driving force instead of having compassion.
If you didn’t think “outreach” wasn’t good/successful solely because you didn’t see anyone get healed, something is off.
If you feel like you can’t minister to a person just because that person doesn’t have a sickness or ailment, then you’ve missed the point. The point is to demonstrate Jesus and have compassion for the person you are in front of.
If the only reason why you’re doing the Great Commission is because Jesus told us to do it, rather than it being an overflow of the Greatest Commandment, you’ve missed it.
The point is NOT to build a healing ministry, the point is to have a life that looks like Jesus; to walk as he walked (1 John 2:3-6) and re-present Him (1 John 4:17). In the context of the whole book of 1 John, it is overwhelmingly clear that “love” is the command.
Love is not contained in healing the sick, but healing the sick is an act of love. If you feel like you can’t minister to someone if they don’t have a sickness, you have not learned to love [fully]. Some people just need a glimmer of hope (Proverbs 13:12), some people need Wisdom from God (Eph 3:10), some people need some cash to buy food, and some people just need a listening ear.
Let me reiterate, most of these motives I have listed are not bad (or evil), and I have done them myself at one point, I’m just saying there is one motive that we are told to operate in.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18
On a different point, we, at the house, have decided to take an indefinite amount of time off from the internet to answer some questions that we have. We understand that many people have been impacted by what we are doing, but we have failed when we have created a following that looks to us rather than the Teacher Himself.
Self-educate. Take responsibility for the world around you. Get answers for yourself. If you have something to say, say it. It is not pride to shout something you know is true and/or if you know that it will set people free.
When Paul said, “Imitate me, for I imitate Christ,” I think he was saying, “Do what I am doing, I am following Jesus; you should follow Jesus.” He was NOT saying, “Copy me, because I copied Jesus.” He was saying, “Copy me, in the sense that all I am doing is learning to be like Jesus.”
If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, eventually you will look quite different than the Master.
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” – Hebrews 1:1-3
Jesus is perfect theology… Anything you think you know about about God, that you can’t find in the person of Jesus, you have reason to question. – Bill Johnson
If you guys really need to connect with us, email will work.
So until next time, peace to you, grace to you.