What Motivates You?

posted in: Faith, Glory, God, Pride & Humility | 0

I am definitely not what you would call a “morning person”. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the beauty of a sunrise and hearing the birds sing; I just love the comfort of my bed more. The most effective method I have for getting myself up in the morning is having some sort of motivation: a hot cup of coffee, a new episode of my favorite TV show, a morning bike ride so that I can pretend I’m somewhat in shape. We all have some sort of motivation that carries us through the day, that pushes us onward, that gives us reason to get out of bed. The important question we all need to ask is, “Will the thing that motivates me be worth it in the end?”

Motivated by Glory

In his epic showdown with Goliath, David had something that motivated him as well–you definitely would need motivation to take on a professional man-killer twice your size.

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47 (ESV)

What motivated David to put his faith in God to win the battle against Goliath? We see here from this passage that it was God’s glory and fame that motivated David’s faith. Throughout the Bible, we are told that David delighted in his glorious God and this delight drove him to action–whether it was writing psalms extolling the LORD or fighting wars to protect His people. In the case of Goliath, David saw that the giant’s taunts against Israel were an affront to God’s name. As a result, David believed the LORD would win the battle for him in order that His name might be glorified before Israel and before their enemies.

It’s also interesting to note that David’s major moral failings that are recorded in Scripture resulted from him turning his eyes from God’s glory to his own comfort and exaltation. When he committed adultery with Bathsheba, he was at home indulging in the comforts of the palace when he should have been on the frontlines, leading his army for the LORD. When David had Uriah murdered, he was seeking to cover up his own sins and preserve his reputation, rather than trusting in his God who honors a broken and contrite heart.

Motivated for Faith

When it comes to spiritual growth, God’s glory must always be the motivation for our faith. We can have faith that He will enable us to grow because He promises to lead us in righteousness for His name’s sake. We can be encouraged to step out and do daring things, not so that we might be exalted, but so that He might be exalted for using lowly people like us. When we take our eyes off of God’s glory, and look to our own self-exaltation, we endanger ourselves by putting our faith in a shaky foundation. Our primary motivation for serving God cannot be our own fame or comfort. Even a good desire, like wanting to help others, cannot be our primary motivation for spiritual growth. In order to cultivate great faith and produce lasting fruit, our motivation must be to exalt the name of the eternal God who made us, who sustains us, and who saved us to do good works for His name.