TEEN TREE OF LIFE
The Doctrine of Motivation
December 4, 2016
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
Last week, in our study of The Doctrine of Motivation, we concluded that God’s Word, Faithfulness, Righteousness, Justice, Unfailing Love and Grace were David’s motivation. He knew God and what he knew motivated him. Are you motivated as a believer who is after God’s own heart as David was? Has the Righteousness and Justice manifested by God’s Love and Grace which are revealed in the Bible, motivated you to stick with the Plan of God for your life no matter what? Since we require motivation to keep going forward in our learning, God has provided that motivation. Human motivation has a beginning in reciprocity; we love because God first loved us. This happens when the Word of God is resident in the soul. God’s Eternal Integrity motivates the believer, but the believer cannot motivate God. Unfortunately, mankind is too often motivated to follow the cosmic system and the doctrines of demons. There are both good and bad emotion; there are both good and bad motivation, but none of it belongs to God.
Look at what Paul wrote: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. (2TI 4:1-8)
Notice the last sentence in which Paul tells us he longs for Our Lord’s Appearance. This is how we should live – longing for His Appearance! You will be motivated by what you love. If you love self you will be motivated to live for self. If you love the cosmic system you will be motivated to pursue the things of the world. If you love God you will be motivated to have a closer walk with Him.
Motivation is not only what makes people tick, but it will be the basis for the evaluation of your life at the judgment seat of Christ. This is also taught in 2CO 5:10: … the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one’s work.
Motivation is what is located inside your soul impelling or inciting action. Everything you do in life has some type of motivation behind it even if it’s from the subconscious. Motivation is the mental and/or emotional incentive or impulse. Mental attitude is not emotional. You can do things that you don’t feel like doing, but you do it because your mental attitude says it is the right thing to do. That is proper motivation. You do not have to feel like doing something in order for it to be genuine or to produce Divine good.
Mental attitude is the key to motivation, not feelings or emotions. A motive is any thought which determines a choice or induces action. Proper motivation can encourage, influence, or convince an individual to do what is right. However, doing what is right is not the ultimate purpose; it is the motivation which is most significant. What this means is, it’s what compels you to do something, not what you do which is more important: All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. (PRO 16:2)
As a part of motivation, there is what is called inducement. Inducement is something used to persuade someone to a course of action. It means incentive. An inducement is an attractive consideration held out to persuade. It is something that helps bring about an action or the desired result. There is also impulse which is an involuntary feeling prompting a person to act. Many people do things based upon an impulse which is a sudden wish or urge that promotes a certain act or feeling. That’s not necessarily good, but it is still a part of motivation. That’s why if you have an urge or a feeling to do something, you should check into the Word of God and receive Divine Guidance BEFORE acting.
Peter had an impulse to try to stop the Lord from going to Jerusalem where He would suffer: From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (MAT 16:21-23) Peter had a sincere impulse, but he was completely wrong. He wasn’t considering what Jesus had taught him, but rather reacted on impulse.
Therefore, motivation is a mental state or emotional force which induces an act of volition. The Lord will test your motivation even if it’s from your emotions. Motivation is one’s intention or purpose. This is important because in 1CO 4:5 we read: Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. So, our motivation or reason for why we do what we do, give what we give, serve how we serve, learn what we learn, will all be evaluated. In the Christian life, the believer is either motivated by Bible doctrine in the soul, and the filling of the Holy Spirit (which produces personal love for God) or by the lust pattern of the old sin nature and Satan’s cosmic system which produces good and evil. This is why JAM 4:3 says: You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your lusts. Your attitude toward doctrine and spiritual growth determines proper motivation.
The Word of God is the critic of motivation. Doctrine judges your motivation. As you sit and listen to doctrine, there are certain areas of your life where doctrine hits you right between the eyes. This is because the Bible is a book that is alive and active. It is said to be “sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge.” (HEB 4:12)
Our Lord said it another way in JOH 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” The Word of God cuts through the garbage, confusion, excuses, rationalization, and it cuts through the tradition. Notice how far it pierces – “as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow.” This means to the innermost intimacies of man’s being, the human soul and the human spirit. The second thing that God’s Word does: It judges! The Word of God will critique, judge, discern and evaluate your motivations in life. This is why learning and applying God’s Word is so important. And this is why you must be motivated by His Word in every decision you make.