Several weeks ago I shared a story that I heard years ago that has always stayed with me. Though it sounds like its from the Bible, it's taken from Elisabeth Elliot's book "These Strange Ashes."
One day Jesus said to His disciples: "I'd like you to carry a stone for me." He didn't give any explanation. So the disciples looked around for a stone to carry; and Peter, being the practical sort, sought out the smallest stone he could possibly find. After all, Jesus didn't give any regulation for weight and size! So he put it in his pocket. Jesus then said: "Follow Me."
He led them on a journey. About noontime Jesus had everyone sit down. He waved His hands and all the stones turned to bread. He said, "Now it's time for lunch." In a few seconds, Peter's lunch was over. When lunch was done, Jesus told them to stand up. He said again, "I'd like you to carry a stone for me." This time Peter said, "Aha! Now I get it!" So he looked around and saw a small boulder. He hoisted it on his back. It was painful; it made him stagger. But he said, "I can't wait for supper." Jesus then said: "Follow Me." He led them on a journey, with Peter barely being able to keep up. Around suppertime Jesus led them to the side of a river. He said, "Now everyone throw your stones into the water." They did. Then He said, "Follow Me" and began to walk. Peter and the others looked at Him dumbfounded. Jesus sighed and said, "Don't you remember what I asked you to do? Who were you carrying the stone for?"
The point of the story is to challenge our motives for following Christ. Often our good deeds and even our prayers are more about us than God. Is our focus on ourselves, our success, our notoriety, our accomplishments, or is it to get God to give us what we want?
When you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong - you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:3
The season of Lent challenges us to look deep within. to ask ourselves and test our motives, "Lord why am I doing this, and asking for this particular thing? Help me to keep my focus on you, and what is truly important."
So as we approach the way of the Cross, pray that God will help purify our motives and believe on this until it transforms you.
Glorify God and enjoy Him forever!