What is my true motivation?

Written By: Benji Magnelli

February 6, 2018

“Do circumstances dictate whether or not you obey God?”
Dr. Parker’s rhetorical question leads me on an introspective search of ‘what is my true motivation?’
Is my motivation circumstantial feelings or Bible-rooted conviction?
Circumstances are the sum of the factors in a situation outside my locus of control. They can be favorable or harsh, desirable or distasteful and a myriad of combinations in-between. But the effect circumstances have on my walk with God is rendered irrelevant by choice.
This choice is: to settle for the dull mediocrity of the world that strips Christians of their God-given rights or elevate my thoughts to the eternal truth of God’s unmerited divine favor and the hope of triumphant reappearance of his son. When in writing, the choice is elementary, the simplicity is almost irrational. Yet that is the cyclical choice in which I find myself every day.
In conducive circumstances, the choice to obey God comes effortlessly because I feel inclined to do so. It’s easy. But feelings and ease of actions are wrong motivations if I want to do the will of God. If a habit-pattern of obeying only when I ‘feel like it’ is built, when inconducive circumstances arise I will fall back upon them and disobey.
On Earth, there is nothing built to last on changing standards. Houses and towers, skills and marriages; these all have poured foundations that do not change. If a house is built on sand rather than rock, it will erode away. If a marriage is built on mistrust rather than honest communication, it will crumble. But a house grounded in strong foundation withstands the beating winds and rain; a marriage established upon the common love for God shared endures the swirling winds of petty arguments.
Likewise, circumstances are dynamic factors, thus cannot be the standard of life lest everything I build in my life will topple; including my obedience to God.
One recent incident of Biblical-rooted conviction superseding circumstantial whims was my preparation for my final undergraduate semester. My one unmet requirement was a restricted elective class, consequently only one offered: Negotiation. In the epitome of human foibles, I simply forgot to sign up. As registration opened for seniors in their final semester, I was watching a movie with my family.
The remembering, I furiously moved through logins, and search menus putting classes I needed in my basket. Then abruptly I ceased my boisterous typing to stare at the screen; the Negotiation class was filled. A sinking feeling pulled my stomach down and a swirling head imagined the possible scenarios resulting from missing this class; and none of them good.
Looking for comfort I flipped my Bible to II Corinthians 12:9 ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. As I went to class, “God is bigger.” echoed in my head.
After class I went to the Office of the Registrar, perhaps they could remedy this predicament. They could not. Only offering circumstantial knowledge, spewing the impossibility of my enrollment. “There is no way you will be in this class,” she said. Filled with repudiation I retorted “Watch me. My God is bigger. I’m going to be in that class and I’ll come back and show you I am.”
On the first day of class, I returned to the Registrar and glorified God with the mighty work he wrought.
I was enrolled in Negotiation.
With Biblical-rooted conviction, we are super-conquerors to reign in life as the Almighty’s sons & daughters.