Prodigal: I want to help my friend, but I sure hope I will get a nice thank you for it.
Me: Well, I think helping your friend should be about your heart motive.
Prodigal: That is something to think about it.
This is from the book Rise and Shine: A Wake-up Call by Charles Swindoll
It is helpful to remember that the flesh (your carnal nature) is very creative and selfish. Think of it as a huge sponge, ready and willing to soak up all the glory. It is a great pretender, acting like it is humble, yet all the while loving the strokes. It anticipates them. It is ambitious. It is energetic. It looks for opportunities to grab the glory that belongs to God alone. The flesh is not choosy. It doesn’t mind getting the glory for spiritual-sounding things or religious acts. Who knows how many sermons have been preached in the flesh? I’ve certainly done a few, I must confess. Futhermore, by hiding my motives, I can, with public skill, manipulate a congregation to do a number of things I want done. And I can gloss it over so effectively they will think they are doing it God’s way, for God’s purpose, when in actuality they are doing my will, and I get the glory. I can actually take the glory God alone deserves.
Don’t do it. Don’t live in the flesh. I know you have thought it over in your mind several different ways to make it seem it is spiritual, but lets be honest. You want the glory. You think your way is the way it should be. Well God has interesting ways, and they don’t always follow your plans. Focus on a message with the Holy Spirit guiding you, and do not take any of the credit. Focus on God instead.
In the LORD I take refuge;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain;
For, behold, the wicked bend the bow,
They make ready their arrow upon the string,
To shoot in darkness at the upright heart.
Jennifer Van Allen