What motivates a person is important. It shows where his heart really is.
6 Do not eat the bread of a selfish person;
Or desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks within himself [in his heart], so he is [revealed].
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten
And waste your compliments.
We all know what self-motivation is; it’s what drives us to do, to be, to aspire, and to succeed. Inner motivation is a desire that comes not from us, but from the Holy Spirit who is in us. The first has to do with our preference; the second with the Lord’s command. We can trust the Spirit of God to tell us to do things that are pleasing to God. We become godly by listening and heeding the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper and His nudges.
How do we know what types of things the Spirit whispers? We look at what He has said and done in the past. Our reference book for such history is the Bible. The book of Acts is full of the Spirit’s leading of the apostles. He leads us the same way. Why read the Bible? In order to learn how to hear the Spirit’s voice when He speaks to us (which is all the time). What does He say? Things like,
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will rejoice over you with joy,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17
15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba [Daddy]! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:15-16
Let’s not let the enemy talk us out of responding to the Spirit within us. Our inner motivation is what drives us to learn all we can about our Savior, the Spirit within us, the kingdom of God, and our future with Him.
One more thing: When you hear His voice and feel His gentle nudge, do what He says. He won’t ask you to do it unless it is important to Him. Let’s make it important to us!
Abba, I want to hear Your voice all the time! The only way I can do that is if I can get my own voice to quiet down. When I hear myself going off on a tangent in my mind, I am trying to learn to abruptly stop and change direction. I don’t try to finish the thought, but immediately enter into a conversation with You. Help me to do more and more of this kind of inner motivation as You coach me. I’m working on my want-to to want to. I want to delight in You, Lord; now, give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4), which is to obey You in everything (Psalm 40:8). Awaiting Your word, amen.
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will.