Motivation

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2)

I’ve been struggling with writing this very devotional, starting and stopping for days. Feeling uninspired I casually asked the Lord to lead my thoughts. Truthfully, my words felt like pennies tossed into a wishing well. Then, as I flipped through the psalms, my eyes landed on a passage that pressed the pause button in my soul.

“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” (Psalm 119:36)

I could almost hear the ding-ding of a railroad crossing bar land in front of me. That moment I recognized what God’s Spirit was after. I’ve authored enough devotionals to know how good it feels to write something someone likes. That last phrase says it all, doesn’t it? I was lacking inspiration because my motivation to please was off track. Instead of writing to please an audience of One, I had your response in mind. Here’s what I know for certain. God cares most about our hearts. Like me, if you feel uninspired, could it be the Lord has stopped you to reveal your motivation? Often, we are interested in pleasing a lesser god like productivity, reputation, or any other thing the world esteems as important.

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” (Psalm 119:37)

Illusions also snared my imagination from working at its best. For instance, perfectionism and procrastination pressured me to wait for that ideal moment before tackling this project. Sadly, I even entertained the thought of people praising me. I nearly gag on that confession, but I know I’m not alone. Maybe you can relate? Our hearts want to glorify themselves. To clear out this selfish motivation I reflected on these verses allowing them to speak to me. Sometimes our imaginations need to soak in scripture to be drenched with the light and inspiration of God. 

“Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.” (Psalm 119:38)

As I turned my attention to these verses, they reassured me. Their straight shot revealed that my shallow motivation had steered me to an empty source - myself. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) God reveals Himself through lives that are motivated to glorify Him. I was guilty of wanting to impress people. Pride and people-pleasing have no place in the Kingdom of God. Today ask Heavenly Father to purify your motivation. He will inspire you as you aim to please Him.

Reflection:

1. Am I motivated to please God or ultimately myself? What is my deepest motivation? 

2. What illusions am I believing? 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, cause my heart to bow before You and not to the ideals of this world. Help me turn my eyes away from illusions so that I pursue only that which is true; drench my soul with life as I walk in Your paths. Reassure me of Your promises, for I am your beloved, Your servant who bows before You. (TPT)