Why You Do ... What You Do

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According to dictionary.com the word motive means:

“something that causes a person to act in a certain way; do a certain thing; an inner drive, impulse or intention that causes a person to do something.”

Motives are what make us do what we do.

Motivation to a Christian is like gas in the tank of your car. It gives you what’s desired or necessary to be a success in life.

Motivation unfortunately is not a class you take in school.

Motivation can’t be inherited because it’s not hereditary. It can’t be passed from parent to child automatically.

Motivation is not necessarily circumstantial or environmental. . .it’s an inner working.

Circumstances can happen that may motivate a person and certainly a good role model in a person’s environment may motivate them to do well… but it still must be transmitted like a light bulb that turns on in a person’s mental hard drive.

It’s also important to point out that motivation can be godly or ungodly.

Here are examples of seven Biblical characters and what motivated them to accomplish their God-given goals.

It’s important to understand that when God gives us a vision, a goal or a prophetic Word, it is then up to us to see it through.

The vision, goal or Word is the blessing but it is up to us to follow the process to the end reward.

There are many obstacles the saints of old overcame as examples for us to follow.

--They had to remain committed and persuaded that the vision, goal or Word God had promised would come to pass.

--They had to persevere in patience in spite of the fact that time or circumstances did not appear on their side.

--They had to look beyond what they saw in the natural … and be faithful.

First, God motivated Abraham with the promise he would have a child and become the father of many nations.

Abraham was given a promise by God that if he would leave the land of his birth and venture forth into the unknown, God would lead him to a land and give him the son he and Sarah wanted so badly.

In addition to the land, he would make him the father of many nations.

After years of wandering it did not appear that Abraham would receive his promise. His and Sarah’s bodies were both old and feeble in the natural.

Abraham’s had to perseverance in his motivation to receive his end result.

In Romans 4:18-24 in the New International Version says:

18 “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations,just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthenedin his faith and gave glory to God,21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness. 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone,24 but also for us,to whom God will credit righteousness—….”

Second, God gave Joseph a dream of ruling and reigning.

Joseph seemed to be living a pretty privileged life until his brothers sold him into slavery.

All could have been lost except for one thing. God gave Joseph a dream that motivated him to hold through no doubt the darkest hours of his existence.

In Genesis 37:5-8 in the New International Version we read:

“Joseph had a dream,and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had:We were binding sheavesof grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?”And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.”

In spite of being sold by his brothers, auctioned off on a slave block in Egypt, Joseph began to listen for God’s voice to learn the ways to succeed before his master Potiphar.

Genesis 39:2 AMP, Classic Amplified Edition says:

2 “But the Lord was with Joseph, and he [though a slave] was a successfuland prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

Then when it seemed that his life was beginning to take a turn for the better, he was falsely accused of attacking his master’s wife and thrown into prison. On all accounts, he should have thrown in the towel… but he continued to believe in the dream God gave him.

Psalm 102:19 in the New Living Translation says:

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams,theLord tested Joseph’s character.”

Although all seemed lost many times, Joseph persevered until he went from the prison to the palace.

Third, is the example of Joshua, Moses faithful follower, as they left Egypt for the Promised Land.

In Joshua 1:1-2 NJKV we read:

“After the death of Moses the servant of theLord, it came to pass that theLord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.”

Joshua had seen how the people of Israel had treated Moses, yet he persevered knowing God had spoken to him.

Even though there were setbacks, he took the people forward until they succeeded in conquering the land set before them.

Joshua 21:45 in the New Living Translation says:

“Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.”

Fourth, Caleb was motivated against seemingly impossible odds to go where others refused to venture.

When the Israelites finally reached the border of their new land, all the spies Moses sent returned with a bad report to the people except reward Joshua and Caleb.

Although the Lord became angry and sentenced everyone over 20 years of age to die in the wilderness, Caleb and Joshua were the exceptions.

In Joshua 14:10-12 (NLT) it says:

10 “Now, as you can see, theLordhas kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old.11 I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then.12 So give me the hill country that theLordpromised me….”

Fifth, Jesus was motivated by a clear purpose and destiny.

Hebrews 12:2 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

While ministering on planet earth. . .Jesus never lost focus on why He was here. It was His clear motivation even in the midst of betrayal and persecution.

Sixth, Paul was motivated by the prize of the upward call of God. . .by the knowledge that he had a mission to accomplish.

Philippians 3:8 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One).”

Seventh, Timothy was motivated by the apostolic influence of his spiritual father Paul and by his understanding of the scriptural principles shared by Paul.

2 Timothy 3:16 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).”

The question is this… how do we stay motivated? How can we remain faithful and expectant when hard times come? How do we not give up?

Here are five dangers to motivation written years ago, by Paul Meyer, the founder of the Success Motivation Institute.

1.      Doubt.

Questioning your ability to do the job. Self-confidence is lost. . .worry and confusion takes its place.

2.      Procrastination.

Putting off important decisions, hesitating to take risks, hoping the problem will take care of itself.

3.      Devotion to false symbols.

Surrendering to egotism and status seeking; coveting the job title instead of concentrating on better ways to do the job. . .desiring to be well-thought of instead of legitimately productive.

4.      Complacency.

Surrendering to the inner urge that almost everyone has to “take it easy” . . . being satisfied with “good enough” instead of excellent.

5.      Loss of purpose.

Failing to make concrete plans for going anywhere else. Reaching the initial goal becomes the end of the career. . .instead of another beginning.

If any of that has happened to you … then this teaching is for you.

Yes you can become motivated.

Yes you can accomplish great things in life.

But we must understand what motivation is from a Christian stand point.

We must understand motivation and how to activate it in our lives.

We must also learn to see ourselves the way God sees us.

If money. . .where we live. . .our health. . .were not hindrances to our future. . .what would we do with our lives.

What would you like to have written between the dashes on your tombstone is a final testimony to your life.

As we ponder on that question. . .we must learn to see ourselves the way God sees us and the way the Word says we can be.

Here are seven keys to godly motivation.

First, character.

Romans 5:3-5 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.”

Motivation always flows from what we value.

What we value most will become our priority.

If we have a true born-again experience with Jesus. . .understand the power of the Holy Spirit and are being shaped into the image of Christ, then our motivation will flow out of the new creation we are in Him.

On the other hand, it we’re overcome by fleshly habits and carnal thinking, then our motivation will reflect those characteristics.

Galatians 5:16-17 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.”

Motivation flows from the character qualities developed through obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Second, dreams.

Philippians 3:13-14 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”

Paul had definite dreams and goals that motivated him to live an energetic life.

It’s important to strike a balance between dreams and reality. We must be realistic. Attempting the impossible with one singular effort has the potential to destroy our motivation overnight.

Stretching is one thing but we need to ask ourselves:

Are we overextending? Have we set our goals to high?

We need to accomplish some things to motivate us to accomplish greater things.

We can begin. . .right now. . .by motivating ourselves with goals we can accomplish in a day, a week or a month.

Then we can extend them to one-year, three years and lifetime goals.

We need to experience small victories before we can take on Ephesians 3:20 in the Classic Amplified Bible which says:

“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].”

Third, calling.

1 Corinthians 7:17 in the Message Bible says:

“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.”

Every motivated person in Scripture understood they had a destiny. They were called by God for a specific reason.

You too have been called to accomplish certain things in your life. You have a God-given task. . .a God-given place. . .a spot no one else can fill. Like a bird that finds its nest, so is a person who finds his or her calling.

Reading 2 Peter 1:10-11 in the Classic Amplified Bible will help you see this.

“Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.

11 Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Fourth, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

We encourage you to read 2 Timothy 1:14 in the Classic Amplified Bible:

“Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us.”

The Holy Spirit is the motivating force behind the whole universe.

As we stay in constant fellowship with Him. He’ll motivate you.

As our prayer life increases and you learn to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit, He’ll build motivation into who you are.

John 16:13 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].”

Fifth, understanding God’s word.

When we study God’s Word, we come to understand who God is. . .how Big He is and just how much He can do.

We learn to trust in a big God. . .a God without limits.

We believe that nothing is impossible with God.

Matthew 19:26 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.”

If everything is possible with God. . .it’s possible with you.

Mark 9:23 in GOD’S WORD Translation says:

“Jesus said to him, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes.”

The Word is ALIVE and full of power. As we obey the Word, confess it and rejoice in it, it will become rhema to us.

As we memorize and meditate on the scripture, it will change our thinking habits and become a motivating force as we’re able to make the seemingly impossible. . .possible.

Sixth, fear of God.

Proverbs 1:7 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.”

The fear of the Lord brings wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Things spoken in fear of what may never happen. . .inhibit our motivation and restrict our future accomplishments.

It’s important to know we will be held accountable for every word, thought and action of our lives.

Matthew 12:36 says:

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Thinking about the judgments and rewards of God is pretty good motivation.

We should never waste our time here on planet earth doing our own thing. We belong to Him.

Seventh, spiritual gifting.

When we discover our spiritual gifts. . .we give life to that particular gifting and our motivation for that gift continues to grow.

If you’re called to serve. . .you keep your eyes open for opportunities to serve. You’ll be available when tables are set up or taken down or when the kitchen staff needs help. You’ll be there when the nursery coordinator asks for help.

You may not have wanted to serve before you became a Christian but things are different now and yes, you have a new motivation to serve.

And, most probably you’re serving by the example of someone else who’s been motivated to achieve greater things.

Take a few minutes after you hear or read this teaching. Get in a quiet place and ask yourself.

What am I motivated to accomplish for the Kingdom of God?

Write it out. . .think about it. . .pray over it . . . and then … make it happen.

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