Hosea 5:4 The Wrong Spirit

Boat being towed

Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 5:4 

The spirit of a person is what can drive him to do or not do something. It will often reveal what is in his heart or what his motive is in what he does or does not do.

When in a group setting, the spirit of the group can move many individuals to do things that they would not normally do. It will cause many people to go with the flow. Once in the flow, they are unable to back out and do something different.

God had revealed that Israel had a spirit of prostitution. They were giving themselves up to false idols. As a group they were moving together away from God. They were caught up in the flow to the point that they were unable to return to God.

Even today it is very easy for people to get caught up in the flow of some spirit that is moving a group of people. People do not take the time to realize what is actually happening, what the flow is about. They just get caught up in the excitement of the moment.

Often that excitement is in doing things that are against God. On the surface it looks and sounds good, but the spirit underneath is one of prostitution, following after the idols of this world–pride, selfishness, sin.

As long as one is running after false idols he cannot return to God. He has to stop chasing the false idols and turn towards God in order to return to God. It has to be a conscience effort, not just a crowd following hype that will bring a person to God in heart and soul.

You may find yourself being caught up in the flow of thinking of this world, a chasing after some false idol. It may seem innocent, such as seeking a higher position in a job for better pay, or it may be steeped in sin.

The heart or spirit of why you are doing what you are doing must be determined. As a believer your heart should always to be one of running after God’s Spirit, wanting to do what He is wanting to do.

Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the spirit of this world, chasing after false idols. Chase after the heart of God and live for Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your heart will chase after God’s heart; that God will keep you from being caught up in the false spirits of this world; and that you will acknowledge God in every area of your life.

Ezekiel 36:27 God’s Spirit Motivates

Path to a cross

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:27 

It is very easy for people to have a desire to do or stop doing something. However, having the inner motivation to actually do or stop doing it is another thing.

People are very quick to start something, but then as soon as trouble or a complication hits, they give up and stop. The same goes for when they are striving to stop something, it often fails as soon as a struggle occurs.

Most often, these actions occur because there is a lack of strong enough inner motivation.

God had a plan to restore Israel after sending them into exile and destroying the nation. His plan was to restore the nation and then put His Holy Spirit into each of the people. The purpose of His Holy Spirit was to motivate them to follow His laws.

The easiest way to get someone to do or not do something is to get to their heart. Once it is in the heart of a person, there is nothing that cannot be done, positively or negatively.

Many believers fight with trying to obey God in doing something or turning away from sin. Most often they fail on a regular basis and will give up after a time of struggle, thinking that it can never happen the way it was supposed to happen.

Just as with the Israelites, God wants to pour out His Holy Spirit into the life of every believer. This fills the believer with an inner motivation and strength to do what needs to be done for God. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit so that believers can be His witness. Being His witness also means living for Him, turning away from sin, while telling others about Him.

You may be just like most believers struggling with being willing to do God’s will in doing His work or in turning from sin. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to enter you and change your heart. Make God’s word an internal part of your heart to motivate you to follow Him with all of your being.

As you rely upon His Holy Spirit for direction and strength, God will do great and mighty things in and through you. This is because you will have a new heart that is an inner motivation. Let God be your new motivation to do what needs to be done.

I pray today that you will know God’s Spirit in your life; that you will allow God to change your heart; that you will obey God’s commands to you; and that you will love God as He loves you. 

Psalm 54:4 What Keeps You Going?

Grass in brick sidewalk

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4 

In order to keep moving forward a person needs something to sustain him. The basics that every person on this earth needs are: food, water, shelter, and clothing. Without these things at a minimum he cannot keep going forward.

Beyond those basics one also needs some motivation to keep moving forward, especially during a difficult time in life. There has to be a reason to want to keep pushing forward and not give up. Many people call it quits when the going gets tough and some will even end it all if the struggle becomes too much.

Wealth, position, fame, and power are some reasons that keep many people moving forward. They hold on to the hope of these things to come or in their life to go through tough times. However, each of these things can and will fail in the end.

As David was being chased by his enemies, he was also being betrayed by a close friend. Instead of giving up, he holds on to the hope that God is his help and will sustain him, keeping him moving forward despite the challenges.

Instead of looking to the temporary things that the world seeks for sustenance, such as wealth, fame, and position, believers look to God to keep them going. He is the one who provides everything that is needed.

Along with providing food and water, God also provides a hope that is eternal. There is a reason for going through the struggles in this life that makes it all worth it in the end. This can also provide a joy and a peace that passes understanding.

These are the things that give a person strength to keep going forward when the world is fighting against him. They are internal and eternal motivations, rather than temporary and external as the world has.

Look to God for what you need to keep moving forward. You are on a path towards becoming more like Jesus every day. You are on the path God has set before you to get into heaven.

The greatest motivation you can have is knowing that God loves you and has great things in store for you some day in heaven. Don’t give up and get discouraged and want to quit. Keep moving forward.

Allow God’s love and strength and hope He provides to sustain you during the tough times in this life.

I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will trust in God’s provision for your life; that you will know God will help you in every situation; and that God will strengthen you to keep moving forward in His will. 

What Is Your Motivation?

Work And Life

I am currently in a position of a job transition. I am transitioning from a known job into the unknown. At this point I do not know what my next job will be, but I know that God has one out there for me.

In the process of searching for a job I have to look at various different factors. One factor is what type of job do I want. Another is how much I want to work, or how many hours I want to work. Another is what benefits are there and what benefits do I want.

One factor that many people do not look at is the motivation factor. Motivation is the reason for a person to behave or act in a certain way. This brings up the question of why a person wants a particular job. Most people look back at the above factors in looking for a job. Some want the high pay, others the great side benefits, and still others the hours worked.

Money

While paying the bills is an important motivator for working, it is not necessarily the most important factor.

As a believer in Jesus, my time in worship and ministry is extremely high on the priority list of life. I want to be able to go to church and do ministry in the church. I want to be able to lead my family in worship and service to God, both in and out of the church.

As a happily married man, I place a very high priority of spending time with my wonderful wife. I want to be able to take her out on a date once in a while. I want to be able to spend time with her at home without falling asleep exhausted from work.

Family

As a man with a large family, I place family as a very high place on the priority of life list. I want to spend quality and quantity of time with my family. I want to be able to play with my kids and mentor my kids in work, worship and ministry. Working automatically places a damper on the amount of time spent with my family.

Some of the jobs I look at will pay very well. This will allow for all bills to be paid and still be able to get everything my family needs or wants. However, to get that high pay requires that I put in very long hours, cutting back family  and ministry time.

Other jobs I look at allow for a lot of time with the family, but do not pay very well. They will not be enough to pay the bills and other needs of the family. Thus it puts a lot of stress upon me and the family.

You may be in this position or you may have been there, or you may be in this position some day. Most people have been there or will be there some day.

In order to solve this dilemma one must look to God and His word. The first thing is:

Psalm 37-23_24

God guides those who seek Him. He will guide your steps. God is there to help you grow, not cut you down.

It is easy to look at this verse and agree that God guides your steps, but it is harder to actually act upon it. He may open a door that does not look good, or close a door that looks great. He sees the big picture and wants to guide you down the correct path. 

Often we look at a path God wants us to walk down and just see problems with it. Yet, that path may be the best one for us. It may be difficult, but it keeps you focused on God. It may be insane, but it draws you closer to Him. This brings you to the point of trusting God.

proverbs 3_5-6

You must let go of your own understanding and the wisdom of this world and trust God’s wisdom and understanding of the situation.

Now that I have talked about God guiding your steps and trusting in the Lord, what does all this have to do with motivation? I started talking about motivation at the beginning.

Ephesians 5_8-10

 

You need to first find out what pleases God. When you or I look at a job, it must be through the eyes of God. Does it honor God? Will it please God to have you working there? Will it be a hindrance to your walk with God? Or will it build your walk with God?

Colossians 3_23-24

 

No matter what the job is that you do, you must do it as though you are working for God. Don’t do it just for the paycheck, or the position, or the benefits, but do it for God.

God opens and closes doors. If you are in a job, it is because God wanted you to be there. The purpose to being there could be to build you up or to help you reach others. The paycheck is the last thing God is really concerned about. You can have a great paycheck and be lose eternal life, because you missed God.

The two greatest motivators for anything that you do, must be to please God and to do it for God.

This can be translated into work, play, or anything else in life. What is your motivation? Is it something temporary of this world? Or is it eternal in God’s kingdom?

1 Thessalonians 1:3 What Motivates You?

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3

People do different things for many different reasons. Some will go to the gym to exercise on a regular basis because they want to look great, while others are trying to be in good shape so that they may stay healthy. Graduates of high school often push through the challenges of college to earn a degree so that they may get a better paying job. There are many other things that people do because of some type of motivation to get them done.

Motivation to do something can come in satisfaction, contentment, power, prestige, honor, or other ways. Depending on the person, what works as a motivation for one person, will not be enough for another.

Paul was looking at the Thessalonians and saw what they were doing. All of their actions were motivated by something else. Their work was motivated by faith. They knew that they were saved by faith, not by their works, so they wanted to do good works for God.

They worked hard because of love. This love was the love God had for them and it was the love they had for God and others.

They endured the hardships of the work and labor because of the hope that they had in Jesus Christ. They knew that in the end they would inherit eternal life with God in heaven. They knew that God would work in and through them to do great things.

Doing difficult things can be very difficult and hard at times. To keep doing them is even harder yet.

Look to what Jesus had gone through to bring you the salvation you are able to enjoy. He endured leaving heaven, dying on the cross, and being rejected by God for a time. This was all done through faith in His Father, the love to and of His Father, and the hope of His Father.

What motivates you today? What are you being motivated to do today?

Are you living your life for Jesus and for others? Or are you living it for yourself?

I pray today that you will know the love of Jesus; that you will be filled with faith in Jesus; that you will have the hope Jesus gives; that you will work to do the work of God; and that God will use you to draw many to Jesus.