Theology Thursday: God in My Motivation

Hands raised to a sunrise sky

All of us make choices and decisions every day that we live and breathe. For those who profess faith in the God of the Bible, our choices and consequences take on another dimension as we recognize the connection to and direction from God as the author of all things right and good. It is God himself who brings forth the desire to seek him in the form of motivation to reverence him in word and deed. This is the amazing work of the grace of God. It is the daily and constant inflow of divine power that helps us function spiritually.

Faith in God steers us into many different pathways, depending on the context and situation we uniquely experience. Our Christian faith also speaks of God relating intimately to human beings by way of invitation as we comprehend and embrace a spiritual relationship with God himself.

This occurs on various levels as we trust that God guides and motivates our thinking, working in and through all things, in particularly, our psyche (soul), which is our core operating system. In this article we explore how God’s presence serves as a motivational factor in the multilayered areas of daily existence. 

In This Article: 

Motivation by God’s Presence 

The Bible teaches that the Spirit of God, also known as the spirit of Jesus, dwells within us (Romans 8:10 ESV). This concept can sometimes be hard to fully understand since we do not often think of our soul as a tangible element. But if we consider our human spirit, that combination of both body and soul working together, we might conjure up an idea of an invisible God literally dwelling, permeating every inch of who we really are. This presence of God is at work 24/7, actively partnering with our thoughts, decisions including our day and night dreams, with one captivating purpose — to draw us close.

Motivated by Core Beliefs 

Psychology gives us some clues as to what motivates us when making particular choices and determinations based on personality traits and outside influences. They can be practical and common explanations because everyone has certain core beliefs, recognized or not, that drive our being. Core beliefs develop out of core needs which are then driven solely by us, or with the help of the person of God. Managing life on our own at this foundational level can only direct us so far. We can go much farther when we welcome God into the reality of our often messy areas of life that our core beliefs lead us into. This is where the grace of God comes into play.

Motivated by Grace 

A reformed understanding views the grace of God as not simply understanding that the Lord is benevolent. Rather, God’s grace is the reality that without it, we could not even consider the person of God whatsoever. Our literal response to the Lord is enabled by this gift. By God’s own initiative, we are given the very ingredient that motivates us in the first place to seek him, not just once, but, over and over as we journey on in daily life. We are motivated by a freedom to grow in knowledge and experience all that God is, and does, finding true faith, hope and love, that we read about in 1 Corinthians 13.

Motivated by Promise 

Of course, we cannot overlook the problem of sin in our lives that attempts to destroy this lifeline we have with our Creator. The book of Isaiah provides a great example of God’s motivation in the midst of a terrible period of judgment and punishment in Israel’s history. They were a defeated and disheartened group that were still promised something good and wonderful in both the near and far distant future. In Isaiah 30:20-21 (NIV), Isaiah’s prophetic words provide encouragement stating, “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” These poetic snippets provide the motivation to hang in there, no matter what. Sometimes, that is all we can do. God’s people were given the worst news, but the Lord also provided them with good news too, even if it was a long time coming. All they needed to do was to listen and obey. Thankfully, the remnant that survived did just that.

Motivated by the Coming of Jesus 

Much later, the Gospel of Luke tells another story of God’s motivating action realized in the life of Zechariah the priest as he sings a song of praise, being filled with the Spirit prophesying, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he came and set his people free. He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,” Luke 67-68 (MSG). When that power takes up residence in the center of our own lives there is no doubt as to God’s motivation for looking forward and upward. Messiah was sent, and is present now and forever, for our good.

If you think you have reached the end, just remember that God’s life-giving motivation will always be there to pick you up and get you going once again. You only need to listen with your heart to hear God’s voice, active in the center of every moment you live and breathe. He will always show you the way.

Read more Theology Thursday blogs and check out other degree programs and theology minors. Visit GCU’s College of Theology and fill out the form on this page to learn more. 

Approved by faculty for the College of Theology on Jan. 16, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.