What’s Holding You Back?

Motivation is defined by the Oxford dictionary as, “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way“

What is your motivation? Be honest. It’s just between you and God. What makes you do what you do? Is it what people think? Is it your own desires and ego? Is it money? Fame? Is it ambition? Is it God?

If God asked you to do something, something hard, what would be your driving force for accepting His call? What would hold you back? What is your limit? How far is too far? What is the thing that would be your, “no, that’s too much to ask.” thing? Your “God would not ask me to do that” thing.? It’s easy to say you’d do absolutely anything for Him but if He didn’t ask for ANYthing but asked for EVERYthing? What if it was no longer enough to SAY it? What if He asked you to LIVE it?

As I sit here in Nigeria, watching season 1, episodes 7 and 8 of “The Chosen” (thank you Lord for this series and for the technology that lets me watch it over and over again!) I am struck once again with the realization that I may still have things that are my “God would not ask me to do that” things. Those, “God knows me. He knows what I can and can’t do. He would never ask me to do something that He knows I cannot do.” While that’s true, if He is asking me to do it, He will make me able. I just have to be obedient. The rest is up to Him.

In this series, Nicodemus, a wealthy powerful leader of the pharisees, is on a serious journey of faith. He isn’t sure who Jesus is but he wants to find out. Nicodemus seeks out Jesus finally meeting with him on a rooftop in episode 7,  They spend time together. They laugh together. Jesus teaches him things, challenges him, shows him and Nicodemus gets it! He really really gets it! This is the long awaited Messiah! Nicodemus has waited for this moment all of his life! He has taught in the synagogue of these times and he gets to be a part of it! Jesus invites Nicodemus to follow Him, to lay aside the things of this world, his career, his family, his friends, even his perceived advanced age, just drop it all and follow Him. Nicodemus has two days to think about it.

At dawn on the appointed day, Jesus and the disciples go to the meeting place to find, not Nicodemus, but a bag of gold coins. Nicodemus stands in earshot, weeping desperately over the choice he is making. He chooses the things of this world. In those two days, Nicodemus does not talk himself out of the knowledge of who Jesus is. He is 100% sure of who Jesus is, but the cost is too high for him. The episode ends with Jesus, his disappointment evident, holding the bag of gold coins, looking towards the direction where Nicodemus hides, and says sadly, “You came so close.” 

These 2 episodes of this amazing series revealed my motivation to me. My sole reason for acting or behaving the way that I do is a desperate need to never hear my Savior say the words, “You came so close” to me. I want the Lord to reach out and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21). That is my motivation.

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