DRIVEN OR NOT
It is curious as to why some become completely involved in their faith and why some barely will explore the riches made available to them by God. "Some drink deeply in the fountain of knowledge while others just gargle!" It is amazing how much grace God provides and how many people simply pass it by. Consider that God "gave everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Some discover the riches of God and live lives in the arms of their loving Savior while other children of God seem always to be finding ways to push God away as though being ashamed of the grace afforded to them. One of the greatest privileges we have is the fact that the Creator of the universe wants to be actively involved in the lives of His created.
Scriptures are the communication of our Creator who wants us to know Him and the provisions He can make available to anyone who would come to Him. It is also the message stating that He is the only way out of the judgment that is to come. (There is always grace in warning.) The word of God is powerful. One passage says that the word of God will accomplish what it was meant to accomplish (Isaiah 55:6-13). God will invite anyone who will seek Him but there will be a time when He won’t be found—a tragic waste.
But there is a force that is greater than the power of God! Impossible? There is no greater power than the word of God except the heart so hard that it refuses to listen to its Creator. A stubborn will submits to no one and enjoys only the consequences of refusing God. The mystery as to why one follows God while others don’t is found in the motivation factor.
Motivation is the power that drives behavior. So when a student immerses him or herself in studying, there is a strong motivation behind the learning. When a believer avoids learning the word of God there is a force behind his or her behavior that needs to be addressed if spiritual growth is to occur. The question is—What is the difference between the two? The answer is found in motivation.
Jesus taught that there are four kinds of hearts the word of God will address. Through the teachings of the Parable of the soils and the sower (Matthew 13), Jesus reveals how four kinds of response can determine one’s spiritual growth. The Hard Soil represents the person who by self-willed pride refuses God’s word (Represented by the "fool" in Proverbs and the "natural man" in 1 Cor. 2:13). The Rocky Soil is the heart that begins well but because the person lives a superficial life, the word is replaced by fear resulting from persecution (in other words, they can’t take the heat!). The Thorny Soil, again, receives the word but somewhere along the way, the message is "chocked out" life concerns and wealth. Both the Rocky Soil and the Thorny Soil are represented elsewhere as the "simple" in Proverbs and as the "carnal or worldly" in 1 Cor. 3:1-3 ( look at Rom. 8 and Gal. 5 as well).
The message is that motivation is a spiritual matter. It all depends on the willingness of one’s heart as to whether or not a person will submit to God. Josh McDowell, author of The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict and a representative of Campus Crusade for Christ, mentioned that the matter of accepting the Christian faith is not intellectual but rather it is the matter of the person’s will (motivation). "It’s not so much ‘I can’t’ as much as it is "I won’t," he states in his book (p. xi).
Even if a person may have learning difficulties, a strong desire to know God and do God’s will can go along way to resolving the deficit. There is a story of a man who could not read or write. And despite his illiteracy, the man found out ways to get around his deficit. He would take his Bible and a pamphlet (selected by someone who could read) along and told who ever he was studying with that since he himself could not read, his student was going to do the reading for him. This man despite his weakness was responsible for bringing many to Christ. His motivation was stronger than his deficit.
Is your faith stronger than fear, anxiety, pride, desire for acceptance, and other deterrents? Or will self-will get in the way of becoming Biblically literate for the glory of God. Remember, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6—Look at the rest of the context James 3:13-4:10). So, how are you motivated? The message is—the choice is ultimately yours.
©2001 Thomas L. Reed II
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