The Attitude Behind The Act: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:1-2,4,9 (ESV)
It is frighteningly easy to fall into temptation. It is more devastating to be unaware that you have fallen into temptation.
The people that were motivated to kill the Messiah were appalled that their ancestors killed the prophets not realizing that they were no different than them. In the same way, it is easy to criticize a family’s culture, a church’s form of worship without realizing that you are not any better than them.
Humanity easily criticizes but doesn’t realize that the very things they criticize are very present in their lives. You may be blinded to your situation as you criticize others. First, you must obliterate the log of issues resident in your soul for you to be able to decipher what is resident in another’s soul.
God can allow your parents and bosses to be subjective to you so they can become a mirror to your issues and the things you struggle with. As you grow older, you realize that the flaws you hate in your parents are resident in you, even in worse measure.
If you want to hear God’s voice, you have to understand that not everything that is contrary to your desires is not of God. It may be of God. Or that when situations are well or good for you does not mean that God is for you. Additionally, when circumstances are negative, it might not mean that God is working on you. Some of us have taken ourselves through process without the doing of the Lord.
A lot of us Christians have misheard God in our walk with Him. People do not realize that God’s ways are far above our own ways.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
Do not distort the voice of God in light of your situations.
Whatever is a preconception can blind you to every possibility and it can send you to a place of delusion. A lot of people have gone through tragedy such that they believe that they are not loved or appreciated. Our perceptions can make us doubt God’s word. When people who are wounded are introduced to God (the Lover of lovers), they find it hard to accept and receive His love.
Your mindsets can cloud the perception of reality in your life that can cloud you. Just because you have a positive mindset does not make you righteous.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.Proverbs 16:2 (KJV)
The deeds of a man are not always what a man is. God judges our hearts and intentions. The spirit of a man is what he truly is. God is more interested in our motives. His sovereignty causes Him to judge our actions and words based on our intentions.
Even when you give offerings and tithe, God will look at your heart and intentions. God will verify and validate our actions based on our motives.
The flesh will always desire what is right in your eyes but your spirit will desire to please God.
There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.Psalms 16:25 (KJV)
The Lord weighs the motive. Weigh in Hebrew is Takan which means to examine and compare according to a standard (of His will). Your motive is your spirit.
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV)
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)
Your motive will determine if you are faithful. God rewards your faithfulness. A lot of people serve in church for the wrong motives. For example, when the reason for service is to find a wife or husband such that service ends when they get what they want.
God will judge every motive. He will not judge solely our actions.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.Jeremiah 17:9-10 (KJV)
The best you can do as a believer is to present all your ways to God so that He may test your desires and align them to His desires.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.1 Corinthians 4:5 (KJV)
Before you do anything, check your motives. Why do you do what you do? Are you doing so because your heart is set on God?
When you see someone in church not walking righteously, before you open your mouth, ask yourself if you have a grudge or if it’s personal.
If you cannot judge your motive, you have no right to judge someone else.
Church discipline is supposed to be redemptive. It is not supposed to be subjective. Every church has a specific unique grace that causes people to gather together.
If you want to experience the fullness of God, you need to be in tandem with the body of Christ, submitting one to another. God is diverse. No one church has the fullness of God. As a person, you do not have everything. God has given every church, every person diversity. He has given a piece of Himself, a revelation of Himself to every church and person.
And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.” And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.Acts 5:12-42 (KJV)
Every new move of God attracts controversy.
God will judge the motive of your criticism. You have no business judging a particular church or congregation when your own motive is envy, jealousy or starting strife.
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.Proverbs 16:9 (KJV)
As a man, you may have your own plans of what to do but God determines what will come to pass. There is no such thing as fate in the Kingdom of God. Everything has to be according to His purpose. Sometimes we go through perilous things because of His purpose. God’s sovereignty overrules the plans of men.
God is not the author of evil. You have to discern if you are carnal or spiritual. Most of what is negative in our lives emanates from our sinful nature. It is not that God is working on your or punishing you.
The overall outcome in your life is determined by God. It is because He is sovereign and omniscient. He has a foreknowledge of every action and decision that humanity will make and He factors this in and provides a solution. Nothing takes Him unawares.
The answer to evil is God’s purpose. In His permissive will, God allows evil to exist so that His purpose may prevail.
God hates sin but allows sin to exist. He gives us no reason as to why He allows this. But sin has been factored in God’s sovereign plan.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart).Proverbs 16:2 (AMP)
A man’s spirit is the deep underlying motivations, attitudes and the character that guides the action of the soul and body. These are a person’s thought patterns. God looks at the man’s heart.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
Check on your motives. Jesus was the best example to us. The Jews expected a Messiah that would overthrow the Roman rulers. But Christ came to establish a Kingdom that is not of this world. The Church that God is looking for is one that allows His Kingdom to pervade their hearts. The Church cannot criticize the government if it does not have its house in order. If a Church’s wealth does not impact the community, there is a problem.
Churches should not be in competition with one another. That is not of God. We are all of the same Body.
Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.Luke 8:18 (NKJV)
Attitude speaks of your position. They come through perceptions that is what you have seen or heard. Be careful how you hear. Even Christ warned the disciples in Luke 8:18 to be careful of how they hear. How you hear will lead to an attitude, which will shape your character then determine your culture.
The only way to change your attitude is to get new information. Wrong perception is pride. It shows that your character that is your personal integrity is wrong. A person of integrity has a willing spirit open to changing along to God.
God is shaping sons into the weights of perfection. Allow God to shape you. The level of perfection you attain to is going to be what He uses to judge you. He will judge you according to what He has made known to you.
The Church has been operating on wrong weights such as religion, church tradition or unsound doctrinal teachings that focus on man rather than Christ. This isn’t of God.
God weighs every aspect of our lives to address what is not right in our lives. He wants us to adjust the condition of our being, not to make us feel judged.
God’s desire was not to just purchase us for Himself but He seeks to rid us of all that does not fit His criteria.
Allow the Holy Spirit to address your attitudes and dispositions. Look at the state of your relationships. It is in relationships that our wrong attitudes and issues will manifest.
We fellowship together and maintain different relationships because each of us has something to offer the other. We need each other.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
Many times, we evaluate other people’s lives according to their outward appearance. God looks at the heart – 1 Samuel 16:7.
People who compare themselves according to other’s success need to check their motives.
If you want to be a successful Christian, weigh your motives before you pray. Is pride, envy or jealousy the motivation of your prayer?