What motivates you?
Behind every action there is some sort of motivation. Today, many people will go to their jobs. Working produces a paycheck and the motivation to work is the necessity of money to pay for the things we have and the things we need. That's a more simplistic look at motivation, but it's true, nevertheless.
But what about other behaviors? What is the motivation behind crime, addiction, laziness, self-loathing, lying, deceiving, fits of rage, sexual impurity in all its forms, drunkenness, etc?
We all have medications to deal with our motivations. I live in a city where heroin addiction, meth addiction, and poverty are on the increase at an alarming rate. As a follower of Jesus my heart is overwhelmed with concern and wants to act. I'm motivated but I'm also highly aware of my own belief that perhaps there's really nothing I, nor anyone else for that matter, can really do about this problem. If that is the case... that nothing can be done... then what do I do? I medicate myself with religion. Many Christians are medicating with religion. The religiously medicated may cry out from the sidelines to the addicted, "You don't need that heroin! Your pain won't go away with more drugs! You're only hurting yourself!" After crying out, we return to our own drug of choice, religious activity. We speak and hesitate to act.
No one who is addicted wishes to stay there. No one in poverty wants to be there. No one medicating with alcohol would deny it is slowly killing them inside and outside. However, many Christians would deny that religion medicates them. Faith without deeds is dead.
I have heard the arguments. "We really don't know what exactly to do about this. How can we act upon something we don't know." You're right in one sense. It is indeed hard to act upon the mysterious unknown. The root causes of these issues and their solutions is a mystery to us, but they are not a mystery to God. If we are His children, perhaps He's calling us to our own wakeup call to abandon our own medication and seek Him for the answers to the unknown.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
God wants us hungry for change, not desperate for more religious medication that masks the problem with activity and churchy busyness.
God is humbling us.
God is allowing us to hunger.
God will feed us with manna (translated: "what is it?") if we will ask Him for it.
God wants to teach us something higher.
God has a solution we know nothing about.
God wants us to know that we live... truly live on every word that proceeds from His mouth.
What motivates you?
Are you hungry for the world the change?
Hungry enough to abandon your own religious medication for true Christ-like action?
Will you now return to your regularly-scheduled day completely unaffected by this message?
Be changed ... then change the world.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.