Skip to main content

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!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…

Steel in your convictions

Steel in your convictions - what does this mean?  Winston Churchill once said, "Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning."  C.S. Lewis echoed his words when he penned, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."


It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.  (I Thessalonians 1:3-5 The Message)


God's hand is on us for something special.  We serve a God who is not only supernatural, he actually influences us to move beyond the natural into the abundance of all he is!  It is this very encouragement which gives us transforming power to live with courage in times of uncertainty.


When God begins to pour into our lives, he is "pouring" the right stuff.  This is what Paul was referring…