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Motivated, but not determined

There is a 'determination' and 'willingness' phase to repentance - but I think we forget about the latter. We get all the determination we can muster, but we sometimes don't do very well in the willingness component because our 'will' is kind of selfish. Some say motivation is based on what we 'want', while determination is based on what we 'need'. For example, I 'need' to lose weight - I don't always 'want' to go to the extremes it takes to get to my desired goal! Motivation doesn't come from without - it is based on wanting something so bad we will do whatever it takes to get it. Determination can be spurred from without, coached to do something we may not have had the know-how to do on our own. We actually need both for repentance to actually 'work' in our lives.

Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. (Psalm 51:12 TLB)

Of all the things I can be 'made' to do in life, obedience is probably at the core of every 'need'. We have been sufficiently disobedient to the degree we realize our 'need' is somewhere far removed from where we are at this very moment. Without an obedient response to our 'need', we never seek the 'determination' to have that need met. We fill up the space where that 'need' should be with all kinds of other things, but not with what will really fulfill the 'need'. Motivation (need-based actions) might actually get me to the place I begin to put into play the things that will help me realize my need (determination) without wavering from my commitment to see that need met. 

Some have said motivation is what gets us started on the journey, but determination is what keeps us going until we have reached our destination. I think this may be very true, but until we realize our true 'need', all the movement we make is really not going to get us to our desired outcome. Obedience is good, but if it is not in the right direction, we are determined to finish, but we won't realize our need fully fulfilled. We are really wishy-washy about our needs - we must have God's clarity as to what we truly need and what it is that will get us to the full fulfillment of that need as he intends for it to be in our lives. Obedience begins by asking the hard questions - like "Is this truly what will get me over this grudge?", "If I take these steps, will I finally be able to resist this temptation?", or perhaps "If I lay down this desire to constantly fill that emptiness within with _______, will I begin to realize a closer walk with Jesus?"

The right questions can help us determine our true need. The need identified can help set out a course for us to follow. Motivation now meets up with determination - with both working to move us forward - but not on our own. We have God's help to obey - we aren't doing it alone. Until we have both, we are just aimless in our direction - we are not going to 'land' on obedience no matter how hard we try. Just sayin!

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