By Steve Countryman
oes your goals motivate you? Does getting older and not being able to do what you used to do motivate you? Does your anger motivate you? Does your love motivate you? Does your rage and hatred motivate you? Does getting even motivate you? Does your feelings motivate you? Does your addictions motivate you? Does your social life of partying, bar hopping and one night stands motivate you? Does your hobbies or your favorite sports teams motivate you? Does your friends motivate you? Does making friends or being liked motivate you? Does your family or spouse motivate you? Does your boyfriend or girlfriend motivate you? Does your job or boss motivate you? Does the bad report from the doctor motivate you? Does serving time in prison motivate you? Even a hermit living in a cave is motivated by nature, by hunger, by survival and by necessity.
All motivation comes down to two areas that affect everyone everyday. These two areas are also at the center of your daily walk and relationship with Father God. How you handle them or how they handle you is where you will find your future. One can build you up and the other can tear you down. One brings hope and the other despair. One leads to a brighter future and the other to death and destruction. One will mobilize you and the other will paralyze you. I am speaking of faith and fear.
I was once again reading 1Kings 18:20-45 and 19:1-4. I am troubled every time I read this story. There is Elijah who had Ahab summon all 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah. He told them to take their bull and prepare it for sacrifice but not to set the wood on fire. They were to call down fire from their gods to light it. Hour after hour went by and no response from their gods. So Elijah took his bull and prepared it for sacrifice but he did not light the fire either. He went so far as to have the bull and the wood dowsed in water 3 times, so much so that it filled up a trench around the alters. After Elijah finished taunting the prophets about their lame gods and after watching them shout, cry out, ceremonially cut themselves and still no response from their gods, Elijah called on Jehovah God. 1Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. Notice that God’s fire from heaven did 5 things, 5 represents God’s grace in scripture, it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the ground and licked up all the water from the trench.
Then Elijah prayed for rain to break the years of draught. After praying seven times a cloud formed over the sea and a heavy rain was coming. Elijah warned Ahab to leave before the rain stopped him. Ahab got into his chariot and left. The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and he ran ahead of Ahab 15 miles out running a horse drawn chariot. Then Ahab told his wife Jezebel about all that happened and Jezebel sent a threatening message to Elijah that his life would soon end.
Isn’t Jehovah God the same God who just performed these powerful miracles? Isn’t this the same God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt by parting the Red Sea and they crossed over on dry ground? Then since this is the same powerful God, didn’t Elijah believe that God could protect him from Jezebel?
Elijah had just participated in three huge miracles and awesome displays of God’s mighty power. The fire from heaven, the heavy rain and out running a horse drawn chariot for 15 miles. When Elijah received Jezebel’s message the Bible says that he became afraid and ran off to the dessert to hide. That is where my dilemma is found. Elijah with tremendous faith, a mighty man of God filled with courage and boldness had God’s power flow through him to do these mighty things but yet became afraid of a threat from an evil and wicked woman who had killed lots of God’s prophets. God did not tell Elijah to go to the dessert and hide as He had him do before. Elijah didn’t bother asking God what he should do. Fear had gripped and motivated Elijah so badly that he just ran off to hide, or as he told God, that he wanted to die!
Fear will motivate you to make bad decisions. Faith is where courage and boldness is found. Peace is found in faith not in fear. That is why it has always been a bad idea for Israel to give land away to their enemies to appease them in trade for peace. That peace has yet to come even after years of giving away land that God told them not to do! For they were giving away their inheritance. The joy of the Lord is our strength and that joy of the Lord is loaded with powerful faith. Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Psalm 89:8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
God’s faithfulness is not just to His Word and it’s completion but also represents His faithfulness in YOU! God has faith in you! You carry the faith of Jesus in you as the Bible says you have been given a measure of faith. It is the same faith that Jesus had in the Father. As Christians we have what the mighty men and women of the Old Testament never had. We have the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living and dwelling in each of us, quickening our mortal bodies. That same powerful Holy Spirit that is home to Jesus in His temple our bodies has made ALL power and authority of our heavenly Father God available to each of us ALWAYS and in ALL THINGS! John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these. So don’t let fear motivate you but turn to the author and finisher of your faith, Jesus and let faith motivate you and your life every day!
About the Author: My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona. In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!