Summary: Staying motivated while serving God can be difficult but God has given us keys for maintaining motivation in the Great Commission He’s called us to - these keys will help you stay focussed and energized towards the goal.
Merriam-Webster’s Definition: Motivation is something, as a need or desire, that causes a person to act. Russ Akins – “Motivation is the measure of what it takes to overcome initial inertia and become activated towards some sort of accomplishment.” Introduction: One second before you die, if you could look back over your life, would you be satisfied with what you did with it? Jer.29:11, Eph.2:10 – You have an amazing life calling and purpose! What will prevent you from accomplishing it? If a person is correctly motivated, there is nothing that can effectively stop him or her from accomplishing God’s will and purpose for their life. 3 types of people (which one are you?): Those who make things happen. Those who watch things happen. Those who ask, “what happened?” Making things happen, being effective, requires proper motivation. There are two types of motivation: Extrinsic motivation: motivated by external rewards (ex. $), fear, punishment, insecurity, etc. Intrinsic motivation: motivated from the heart (Ex. 1Cor. 9:16-18). Motives and motivation often as important as the action itself. Why do you do what you do? 1Sam.16:7 – Man looks at the outside but God looks at the heart. Mt.15:8, Mk.7:6 – Don’t honor God with lips when heart is far from him. Lk.6:45 – Good actions come from the heart. Mt.6:21, Lk.12:34 – Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. 2Cor.5:14-16 – The love of God compels us to live for His purposes. Eph.6:6-7 – Serve the Lord from the heart. Why do you serve the Lord? You are in charge of your motivation level! Your motivation level will fuel your ministry effectiveness and productivity. Focus and purpose necessary for motivation. Can’t be motivated towards nothing. Motivation doesn’t just magically happen. Cultivate motivation builders. Avoid motivation barriers. Motivation builders (Just a few): 1Sam. 14:1-23 – Jonathan and his armor-bearer were motivated by the opportunity to win a strategic high ground in a vital battle (even though it seemed an impossible situation). They had a purpose, a goal, a strategy, they were correctly motivated and as a team (Jonathan, the armor-bearer and God) they accomplished the impossible. Identity – Know who you are; know your true identity. Purpose – Know your purpose, what you are here for? SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and w/in Timeline. Eternal perspective – 2Cor.4:18 – Fix your eyes on the eternal! Eternal perspective impacts daily choices! Faith yields work, occupation. Hope yields endurance and perseverance. Love (unselfishly choosing and acting for another’s good) yields hard labor. Love is the chief motivator for the Christian. Jn.14:15 – If you love Jesus, you’ll obey His commands. Grace – Appreciation of God’s undeserved kindness and blessing in my life motivates my response. Correct balance – Intellectual, physical, social and spiritual. Fellowship – Strong Christian fellowship, encouragement and accountability yields strength. Prayer – Phil.4:6 – Present requests to God in prayer proper focus. God’s Word, Truth – Rom.12:2 – Word transforms me! Is.55:8, Ja.1:15, Rom.12:2, Ps.119:11, Ja.1:22 and Mat.4:4. Jesus – Just imagining seeing Him face to face (Jn.15:5). Holy Spirit – Walking in His power, with Christ on the throne! Motivation barriers (Just a few): What will you let hinder you? – 2Cor.11:23-29 – Paul was imprisoned, near death, whipped 5 times with 39 lashes, beaten 3 times with rods, stoned, shipwrecked 3 times, spent a night and day treading water in the open sea, been in danger from everyone and everything around him, gone without sleep, been without food and water, been cold and naked. Yet he remained motivated! Temptation and Sin – James 1:14. Heb.12:1-2 – Sin entangles us and weighs us down. Expectations – Incorrect expectations yield disappointment and disillusion. Incorrect desires – 5 C’s (cash, cars, careers, condos, cuties). Past failure – Focusing on past failure instead of keeping eyes on Jesus. Fear – Fear prevents progress. 1Jn.4:18 – Relationship with God enables victory over fear. Burn-out – Lack of balance destroys motivation, creates apathy and lethargy. Unbelief – Distrust of God creates an inability to accomplish His purposes. Lack of Knowledge – Hos.4:6 – We are destroyed by a lack of knowledge. Remember: Phil.1:9, 1Cor.8:1. Feelings – Emotional roller coaster yields instability and ineffectiveness. Comfort zones – Laziness and living in comfort zones prevents progress and growth. Circumstances – Circumstances won’t always align for you, be obedient regardless. Rationalization – Explaining away Truth prevents obedience and effectiveness. Procrastination – Putting off what needs to be done prevents effectiveness, creates an atmosphere of catch-up rather than get-ahead. This hinders optimism and freedom to accomplish God’s purposes. Results of correct Biblical motivation: Phil.2:21 – Live for His purposes, do what you do for Jesus, not self. Agape love for Jesus and other Christians Labor! Why do you do what you do? Character developed – Christ-likeness developed as you progressively think and act like He does. Conviction built – Become determined to live for His purposes. Proper motivation prevents burnout. How do you respond to negative circumstances? Correct motives help you cope! Correct motives preserve energy. Motivation perseverance through tough times. Through lies, insults and slander. Effective, meaningful and productive life! 1Cor.3:12-14 – Radically impact eternity!!! The bottom line: He is worthy – Rev.5:12, Phil.3:7. Because He is God He made you. Eph.2:10. Purpose Form and function. Your salvation (Ps.51:12). Your ongoing development. Your giftings. Your provision and sustenance. Your relationships. True Agape Love (unselfishly choosing and acting for another’s good) for Christ motivates our obedience. Love is the best motivator. Phil.2:21 – Do you do what you do for His interests? Jn.14:15 – If you love Jesus, you’ll obey His commands. MPM is here to give you rails to run on. Motivation cycle. James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Word. Prayer. Fellowship. Ps.16:11 – In his presence is fullness of joy. Neh.8:10 – The joy of the Lord is our strength. Heb 12:2 – Joy motivated Jesus. Gal.5:22-23, Eph.5:18 – His Spirit Joy. 2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has given you everything you need for life and godliness. Connect with Him and be filled with His Spirit and you won’t be able to get unmotivated. Moses: Ex.3:4-6 – Connection. Ex.3:7-10 – The call. Ex.3:11 – Who am I? Ex.3:13 – Who sent me? Ex. 4:1 – What if they don’t believe me? Ex. 4:10 – I’m not eloquent. Ex. 4:13 – Please send someone else. Your weaknesses, failures and inabilities present no challenge to God’s plans for your life – your willingness does. Isaiah. Is. 6:1-4 – Connection. Is.6:5-7 – Attitude. Is.6:8 – Call and response. That is the attitude and response of an intrinsically motivated follower of God. John the Baptist. Mt.3:11, Mk.1:7, Lk.3:16, Jn.1:27, Acts 13:25 – Not worthy to untie his sandals. 1Cor.3:9 – He’s called us to be His co-workers. What is my attitude about the ministry? If you lack motivation you aren’t connecting with God. Look at the other disciples’ attitudes (Acts 5:41). Your motivation must start with a vital connection with God and be a response to the simple fact that he is worthy. Take 30 minutes and seek him tonight about this issue. Repent if you’ve had a wrong attitude. Connect with him in a vital way.