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

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

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

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean