Our inner motivation drives our outward feelings. It’s why we get up every morning. What or Who is your inner motivation?
16 Whoever keeps commandments will live, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die [spiritually and physically].
If we know the Lord Jesus, then we have His Spirit in us. 1 John 5:12 tells us, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Our new life in Christ comes when the Spirit of God comes to live in our hearts. It is this transaction that saves a person. When does He come in? When a person is willing to give Him control of his life. This kind of trust only comes when we realize that what God has said in His Word is true and that we need Him. We hear His voice and answer His call to follow Him. It is at that time that the Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and lives.
He is our motivation to obey God. He is our desire to please Jesus. He gives us the “want-to to want to.” He is now the driving force in our lives–not us. When we came to Jesus, our lives began to change; parts of our lives changed quickly and easily whereas other parts have been slow and difficult. There are probably a few areas that He hasn’t touched, yet! That’s okay. Our relationship with sin has changed; it no longer condemns us, but now it just makes us more determined to get things right the next time. God uses what used to defeat us to strengthen us for our growth and His glory. How do we get there? Through consistent prayer and Bible study. Here’s my daily process:
I commit to mastering my flesh:
27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:27
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:20-21 Note: I like verse 21 because it reminds me that I live by grace and not by good works. My good works are BECAUSE of grace.
6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power [the strategies of this world and my own designs], but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
…do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:4
Of course, we cannot master the flesh without mastering our minds:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
26 to make her [the bride–us!] holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word [of God, the Bible],
My goal is to hear the voice of Christ. With these verses, I fine tune my ears to hear Him. I train my eyes to look for signs of the Spirit’s moving. I condition my mind to run to Him every time it strays to old paths. By doing so, I take what was once a stronghold and make it the very thing that ushers me into sweet fellowship with my Savior!
I challenge you to read these verses every morning for a week and see if your spiritual walk with Christ strengthens.
Abba, You know what I need. You have made it plain that I need to train my mind and my body to be obedient to You. I desire to please You, Lord. My whole motivation is to be like You. Keep chiseling; keep molding and shaping me into Your image. I want to be conformed into Your image (Romans 8:29) and transformed in Your likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). Make it so, Abba, in Your time and according to Your plan. Meanwhile, use me for Your glory. Amen.