Grace and peace be unto you.
“Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21).
Have you ever risked your life to impress someone? Have you ever asked one of your devotees to risk their life for you? The Bible says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). When we interact with others, we ought to examine the motives for our thoughts before we speak or act on them. If our motives are selfish, we must reject them.
The story is told that David was hiding in the cave of Adullam, when three of his chief warriors visited him. Being a fugitive, he longed for water from his hometown of Bethlehem. Consequently, he said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’ As soon as he was finished speaking, the three warriors left his presence, broke through the Philistines lines, got the water from Bethlehem, and brought it to him. However, he was conscience-stricken and did not drink it. He said, ‘Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!’ ‘Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?’ (2 Samuel 23:13-17).
David exploited the devotion of his chief warriors. He knew that they were loyal to him and would do anything he desired. And so, he uttered his desire and they did everything in their power to fulfil it. David’s intention was displeasing to the Lord, as a result, the water was repulsive and he could not drink it. His mind was enlightened and he recognized his mistake. Similarly, when our actions are driven by impure motives, we will not enjoy the aftermath. The Bible says, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10).
The truth is that everyone is responsible for their action. As such, it was indeed foolish of the warriors to put their lives in harm’s way to obtain the water. That being said, it is interesting to note that David was not willing to risk his life to get his own water but he allowed his men to risk theirs. The Bible says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
God wants us to be loyal to him and do what he desires (Micah 6:8). When we do, our intentions will be pleasing to him. As a result, we will not encourage anyone to meet our selfish desires. Neither will we allow anyone to exploit us to meet their needs. As you journey through life, a good rule of thumb is to ask this question, Does God want me to do this action or make this comment?