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What Motivates You?

What Motivates You?
What's Your Pleasure

Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. Psalms 38:9 (NKJV)

Q:     What motivates you?

I am sure at some point throughout your life, you have been asked this question.  Whether you are a strong willed person who strives in everything you do, or you are ultra-conservative and would rather kick it at the beach - the question is valid and often asked.  For some people, they ask this question with hopes of unlocking some secret mystery they may be able to tap into, because they are intrigued and drawn to what others have accomplished.  

For other people, the question, "What motivates you?" is asked because they may be out of ways to stimulate the person they are asking - discouraged and even disgusted, they throw the question out hoping to unlock the combination to challenge them.

The fact is we are all motivated by something -  the question is, what?  I believe every motivation for us falls into one of two camps - either external (Extrinsic), or internal (Intrinsic).   Let me explain.

External motivation comes from outside of the person.  Expectations from a parent or boss can be external motivators.  Schedules requiring us to be at a specific place at a certain time, or deadlines are examples of external motivators.  Externally motivated behavior will continue as long as there remains the possibility of punishment or reward.  It is when we are controlled by external incentives.  The thing about these external motivators is we are all tempted at times to despise them and even resist or rebel against them.

Internal motivation is the willingness of the person to act based on the potential satisfaction that they will experience in exchange for the action. It usually will stem from our personal desires.  An example could be the desire to succeed in a task, or the feeling associated with accomplishing the task.  The internal motivation can even stem from the fear of failing at the task.  Therefore our internal motivation is fueled by our desires.  When we feel "pulled" to do something inside us we will be motivated to do it - we see this with volunteers.  Internally motivated behavior requires no threat or reward.  

Simply put, external motivation and internal motivation is an example of control (external) versus commitment (internal).

Internal and external motivations are very important to us in our Christian walk as believers.  Whether we are motivated by external or internal reasons, and whether those reasons are positive or negative will largely shape our walk with God - or lack of walk as well.

If there is a lack of the internal motivation within us to do something, we will probably not do it, even though it may be exactly what is best for us.   For example, a person might not have a problem going to work, or doing other strenuous things, but when they need to get themselves out to do some physical exercise - which is only for them - they might not find the energy.  It can be the same way with reading our Bibles and being faithful followers of Jesus.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)

Q:    What application can we glean from this as Christians?

A:     If we don't have a desire in our heart to do the things of God - to read our Bibles, or to seek to have a relationship with Him and pick up our cross to follow Him - then we won't.

Q:    How can we be internally motivated to have a proper relationship with God?

A:    By remembering that He desires to have one with us.  When we truly understand how much God loves us - how He has proven His love by providing a way for us to have fellowship with Him through Jesus, we should be motivated to seek Him with an earnest desire.  

The Apostles knew this and they willingly became bondservants of God and of Jesus (See Rom. 1:1; 2Peter 1:1; James 1:1).  These men who were touched by Jesus were willing to let God use them as He saw fit.  They were willing to lose their personal ambitions for pleasing themselves.  Instead they desired to seek God and to serve others as Christ did. This is an eye opener for us.  It leads us to ask the questions:

Q:    Am I internally motivated to desire to know Jesus personally?
Q:    Am I internally motivated by God's sacrificial love for me, to pick up my cross and follow Jesus?   
Q:    Am I internally motivated to desire the things of God more than the things of this world?
Q:    Am I internally motivated to desire to read His Word knowing it will transform me, guide me, and provide wisdom?

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to ponder these questions.  These are questions I must ask as well.  If we don't truly have the desire if we are not driven to seek God and His kingdom, then we must ask Him to change our hearts by whatever means necessary.  I don't want to be scared into coming to God - I want to have a true desire motivated by my love for Him, and I want the fruit in my life to validate my love for Him.

STUDY QUESTION: What did Jesus ask His followers in Matthew 16:24?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you "desire" to follow Jesus and be transformed to be like Him?

APPLICATION: Ask God to change any area within your heart that desires the things of this world more than the things of God.

Father, thank You for Your transformation of my life.  Thank You for giving me the desire to follow You.  Help me to continue to see things as You do, and continue to give me a deep desire to read Your Word.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000