Giving Up Is Not An Option
What motivates you? Is it money? Power? The American Dream? Do you drag yourself out of bed and go to work every morning so you don't get fired, or do you greet the day enthusiastically because you know you will make a difference? Is your motivation fueled by challenge? Is it kept alive through excitement and joy? How do you maintain your motivation through pain, adversity, and struggle? Motivation is peculiar thing.
Motivation is affected by circumstance, personality, and relationships. If we are surrounded by enthusiastic people our motivation increases. If there is continual nagging and complaining our motivation sinks, unless something deep inside drives us to find a better way. It is that something deep inside that matters. What is it for you?
If you watched a beloved family member die of cancer you might be motivated to find a cure. If you grew up in poverty you might be motivated to become rich. Or if you experienced the tragedy of abuse you might be motivated to bring about social justice.
The Apostle Paul, when talking about his Apostleship, used the phrase "by the will of God." As an apostle to the Gentiles he faced persecution, beatings, hunger, deprivation, shipwreck, and rejection. His people wanted him killed, and the merchants of idolatry wanted him run out of town. Even when people believed in Jesus they were contentious, unruly, judgmental, and ungracious. What keeps you going when you are lying in the filth of a cold stone cell? "By the will of God."
The phrase wasn't just a reminder to the church of Paul's authority, it was a reminder to himself that he had a greater call on his life that kept him motivated, "by the will of God."
It is by the will of God that we are called to follow Jesus. As believers we are to discern the will of God, test the will of God, seek the will of God, and follow the will of God. It is the will of God in Christ that gives us hope, direction and a future. It is the will of God that motivates us to love and forgive. It is the will of God that keeps us going when life is overwhelming and we don't feel like getting up in the morning is worth the effort..
What is motivating you today? I'm just saying.