By Pat Harrison
President & Founder
Someone once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily!”
What motivates you? Have you noticed it is stronger some days that others? At its heart motivation is a matter of will. You and I must will and choose to do. We are motivated in the doing.
God’s Word should always be our motivation. We must choose to read it and act upon it. We must embrace the Word and allow its truths to react with our lives. It can be an agent of leanings, strength, change, direction or re-direction.
The point is that we must add the Word into our lives so that it can change and motivate us. As the Word works within us, we see the need to change and want more; thus we are motivated to apply more of the agent of change in our lives—the Word.
Like bathing, the effect of motivation is hampered by contact with the world. Without that daily dose of soap, we would not have any positive influence, no matter where we go. Likewise, the friction of life—our interaction with circumstances—wears down our motivation. As we move from project to project or from problem to problem, our motivation wanes in the face of resistance.
Time can also cause motivation to wane. Regardless of your position in ministry, you must remember that your influence or leadership is not always immediately effective. In order to keep your motivation, you must understand that you may never realize “success” in certain areas.
Even Jesus lamented to the disciples, “How long must I be with you?” His disciples didn’t always grasp the truth He taught or even who He really was, but Jesus was not deterred. He kept His motivation: the salvation of all humankind.
Even Jesus had His moments. He was God in human flesh. He was tempted “even as we are tempted.” He knew discouragement, fatigue, anger, and sorrow. He also knew laughter and joy. He knew all things human. Remember His agony in the Garden and His words of surrender: “Not My will but Yours.”
Motivation wanes, but we choose either to revive it or deny it. It’s a force in our lives.
If we look to the troubles, tribulations, defeats, or sorrows, we will ask, “Why bother?” Those are the moments we must be Christlike: “Not my will.” The Old Testament is filled with stories of remembrance. What were the children of Israel doing when they rehearsed past victories? They were motivating themselves for the next fight. They didn’t have CDs or DVDs or any issue of Believer’s Voice of Victory. They couldn’t turn on the television to watch Christian programming or listen to Kenneth Hagin on the radio. They had no input from the New Testament. They didn’t even have Jesus’ Name to speak.
No, the Old Testament saints had the stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Ruth and Nehemiah. They could recall the generations of men and women who had trusted El Shaddai, the God who is more than enough. They knew and called upon all the names—the promises of—God. They rehearsed the old battles and triumphs. Just imagine a young man saying, “My grandfather was one of Abraham’s servants back before God changed his name to Abraham. My grandfather first knew him as Abram. He stood among the servants when Abram announced his new name—Abraham—and the reason for his new name. I remember my grandfather telling me about the battle with the five kings and of meeting Melchizedek.”
The Israelites knew the stories of God’s faithfulness. They knew His names. They rehearsed the past victories. And when they cried out to Him in repentance and humility, they knew He would do make them victorious again.
On those days when you’re working really hard and sweating, you’ll probably take more than one shower or bath. You’ll want to freshen up before you go to bed. It’s the same with motivation. Before you go back to the battle and walk in another victory, you need to rehearse what God has done for you.
Do not allow the pressures of life to disconnect you from God or discourage you in your walk. Rest in the assurance that what God has begun He will complete in triumph. After all, He always has.
God’s refining moments and His refining Word work in our lives to train us up into triumphant, righteous people. Each day brings us opposition or opportunities—it all depends on how you view them. We must decide if we will overcome or partake of what is put before us.
It is difficult always to be on top. So what motivates us to do our best? Our love of God and our desire to see people walk in His redemption.
How do you stay motivated? Start by asking yourself some tough questions. Am I still motivated? Does going to work offer excitement and participation? Do I only look forward to Sunday night when the preaching is done and I can spend Monday on the golf course? Before the counseling session begins, am I already focused on its end?
Motivation is found in God’s Word, in His presence and at His feet. My prayer for you is that you will renew your motivation or take it to the next level. Expect God to meet you at your point of need.