I recall times in my past when everything distracted me! Everything kept me away from my heavenly calling, and I was blind to it all for long portions of time. I would allow myself to get distracted more and more each day, oblivious to what was happening. Eventually, I would realize that things were going the way they were because my purpose was not focused on the God that suffered a cruel and undeserved death on the cross for me, but this past week was so different. I recognized exactly what was happening as soon as it began. I recognized that I was opening myself up to a dark path. I recognized that there was no eternal fruit being produced while I was distracted in this way.
My experience this week quickly opened my eyes to something that now vividly clings to my mind. Being honest with myself about my purpose at that time was the key to ensuring that it returned to the Lord. The Holy Spirit worked inside me during this particular period of distraction, granting me a piece of heavenly wisdom for use in this life.
Purpose, motivation, investment, and reward are all intimately related.
Generally, what we would see in this world is that our purpose motivates us. What we are motivated by is what we invest our resources in. What we invest in eventually produces a reward for that investment. The reward that we gain works to renew us towards that purpose.
For a believer though, it is a little different:
In Christ, I have already gained my reward.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight Ephesians 1:3-8 NASB
9 He made known to us the mystery of His will,according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:9-12 NASB
13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB
If my purpose is established in Christ and if my motivation is constant by the grace of God, how can I ever be “unmotivated”? Having my purpose focused completely on God would mean that I would be eternally motivated. That type of motivation would be enough to fuel any task in my life. Clearly, the reason I was unmotivated was because I took my eyes off of the Lord. Since my purpose was not on the Lord during that period of time, my purpose wavered; my motivation was fickle; my investment was in things of this world; and my reward was temporary.
How do I avoid that pointless lifestyle? What do I need to do in order to stop it? Is it possible?
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 NASB
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:17-24 NASB
So everyday you have to evaluate yourself. Everyday, you have to recognize where your motivation stands. Everyday, you have to fight the urge to return to the old man. Everyday, you have to remind yourself of your eternal reward. Everyday, you have to ask yourself, what is my purpose? Everyday, you have to fill yourself with God’s Word that points you to the truth. Everyday, you have to talk to Him honestly and earnestly. Everyday, you have to fill yourself with the Spirit that produces it’s perfect fruit. Everyday, you have to remember that Christ has worked hard to make you a more amazing person than you could have ever been on your own.