When you study the word ‘motivate,’ you discover it is rooted in motive. Motivate means that there is a motive which incites, impels, moves, prompts, and provokes you to act. There is a cause that invigorates you to action.
There are many clear pictures of motivation in scripture. One of the most obvious descriptions of motivation is seen immediately after Jesus’ baptism. Scripture tells us that Jesus was ‘led,’ ‘driven,’ or ‘sent’ into the desert by God’s Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God ‘motivated’ Christ to action.
Paul tells Timothy to get motivated in 2 Timothy 1:6 as he exhorts Timothy to, “stir up the gift of God” that was within him. The NIV translates Paul’s words as “fan into flame.” Now this is an awesome correlation to Jeremiah 20:9 where the prophet talks of how the Word of God was like “a burning fire shut up in his bones.” There was something so strong inside of Jeremiah that it was motivating him, impelling him, prompting him, provoking him to action! The prophet could not hold it back.
Paul’s words to Timothy is a challenge for us right now. We need to get stirred up! We need to be motivated! And it is vital that the source of our motivation comes from God’s Spirit and His Word that is within us.
God is challenging us to be motivated from His gift within us. Too often leaders are motivated by other sources. Think about it for a moment. Do you fall into any of the following categories?
Task-driven – going from event to event, schedule to schedule, maintaining a work load to check off items on your list
Portfolio-driven – following an outlined list of responsibilities given to you from leadership
Fear of Man-driven – working diligently in an effort for approval or avoidance of criticism
Self-driven – myopically focused upon doing the tasks you enjoy or desire to do
Accomplishment-driven – appreciating the praise of peers, finding satisfaction in another job successfully done
These are just a small sampling of many other aspects which drive us that we could discuss today. The examples above all have merits to consider as we minister but none of them should be the driving factor or motive which impels us forward in ministry.
God is unmistakably and distinctly telling us that His Spirit and His Word are to be our motivation. Jobs and tasks can easily be accomplished but let’s get motivated! Let’s stir up the fire within us to do more than get another item scratched off our to-do list. Let’s minister in power, in authority, in love, and in victory through the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
Be motivated! “I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you.” AMPLIFIED
Rev. Gary R. Linn
Children’s Ministry Today