Maybe it’s procrastinating by playing games on the internet. Maybe it’s slapping the snooze button a few times instead of lacing up those jogging shoes.
We all have areas where our discipline falls short of where we’d like it to be.
We need to remind ourselves that we already have God’s approval.
But we also need to remind ourselves of how and where we really get our motivation.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
We are to work out our salvation (John MacArthur explains what that means here).
But the source of our power is God himself. And here’s the interesting thing: God works in us, both to will and to work. Our motivation is the result of God’s working in us.
So the next time you don’t have the drive to keep going – when at any point your motivation is slipping – you can pray for God to give you the power to will.
If we truly believe that God is working in us to control our desires and drive, do we pray that way? Do we pray fervently and often for God to give us motivation?
A Prayer God Loves to Answer
I recently saw a Martin Luther quote on Cycleguy’s blog that I loved: “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of his willingness.”
Look at the end of verse 13. God works in you to work and to will for his good pleasure.
Don’t you think he’ll delight to work in you to change your motivations into ones that please him? We can pray that with the greatest of expectations.
And even if our motivation to pray is waning – amazingly, we can even pray for the desire to pray.
We must remember that motivation is not simply a means to an end. Motivation isn’t just a mental trick that gets you to act.
Sometimes we prize action so highly that we forget our motives matter. Why we do things is crucial. In fact, it’s most often vastly more important than the actions we take.
Praying for God to give us the right desires isn’t about just driving us to accomplishment. It’s leading us to do the right things for the right reasons in the right ways.
And that leads to the right results.
What hinders us from praying this way?
Photo Credit: Paul Schadler (Creative Commons)
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