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Motivation’s Influence

Motivation’s Influence

When most people think of superpowers, they think of science fiction films, comic strips, or imaginary superheroes. The last thing on one’s mind is a devout Bible believer. But God’s Word is full of power, and the Holy Spirit has given Christians the authority to walk and work in God’s power. As followers of the one true God, we have a variety of abilities at our disposal. We’ve probably heard or read about such powers as the power of faith or the power of prayer. One of the powers that, in my opinion, is underappreciated is the ability to motivate. In a world full of depressing events and news, inspiration is a power that every believer requires in order to sustain and progress. The Bible is replete with instances of the importance of motivation and how it impacts an individual’s future and destiny.

The Brain Is Influenced by Motivation

Scientists have studied the subject of how motivation influences brain development. They explain how both spoken words and motivational facial expressions have a substantial impact on brain development. Children that receive more parental support, encouragement, and motivation have brains that are better built to learn and handle difficult events later in life. Brain research has also been conducted on the hippocampus, a region of the brain that influences an individual’s emotional responses and behavioral inhibitions. Children that receive a lot of incentives develop their hippocampus faster, resulting in better emotional responses and higher self-control. It is critical, according to the authors of a study, that youngsters receive this unique attention and motivation.

Other studies show that a person can “stimulate” their own hippocampus to modify how they think of themselves and how they respond to specific situations. The hippocampus is the autobiographical brain’s gateway, conveying information about who one is, or at least how one sees oneself to be, as well as distant memories. If one is disappointed or frustrated, the hippocampus will transfer those negative sentiments into distant memory, eventually impacting one’s self-perception. However, research shows that regular motivation can lead to the development of brain networks with a pleasant and hopeful emotional consequence (Matheson). This, in turn, will change how you perceive yourself and interact with the world around you.

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Science supports what the Lord already knows: humans require encouragement and motivation to flourish fully. When we are constantly encouraged by individuals we care about, our brains develop a response that allows us not only to handle challenging situations but also to adjust our emotional reactions to those events. Motivation has the ability to alter our perceptions of ourselves, improve our circumstances, and even enhance our faith in God. The Bible commands us to love the Lord with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind (Matt. 22:37). That means our minds must be merged with God’s reality. If the Bible says one thing and our minds say another, we must transform our minds to agree with the truth of the Word. What God has said must serve as the foundation for our faith in ourselves.

“The Motivational God”

The Lord’s character is so broad that we struggle with our limited wits to comprehend each of His attributes. We may read in the Bible how various poets, prophets, and kings remarked on God’s marvelous character. There is no more reliable source for a good portrayal of the Lord than God Himself. Exodus 34:6-7 contains what Jewish sages refer to as the Thirteen Attributes of God’s Mercy, in which the Lord portrays Himself:

The LORD, the LORD, a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in mercy and truth; that he keeps mercy to thousands, who pardons iniquity, transgression, and sin, and who will not hold the guilty innocent; that he punishes the fathers’ iniquity on the children and on the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.”

Although motivation is not explicitly expressed, the Lord’s motivating character can be observed implicitly. The English word “compassionate” is derived from the Hebrew phrase “rajum” (), which is defined in Strong’s Hebrew Concordance as God’s compassion or mercy. A more general definition is “sensitive devotion.” It can also imply encouraging, protecting, assisting, attending to, or nurturing.

As a result, we see in the Lord’s caring character a desire to encourage us to grow. We can conclude that motivation is a way for God to exhibit mercy and compassion. God, like any loving parent, encourages us to grow and attain his plans and purposes for our lives. He motivates his people to place their trust and hope in him in a loving way, encouraging us to continue in his ways.

Inspiring a Nation

God’s motivation in dealing with His offspring is obvious throughout the Bible, but especially in the Tanakh (Old Testament) prophets. Every year, the Jewish people observe Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning and fasting. That is not a festival, but rather a sad commemoration of the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple, as well as the Jewish nation’s 70-year exile in Babylon. It was a very tumultuous period in biblical history. The people whom the Lord had selected, delivered from Egypt with an outstretched arm, and settled in his Promised Land were captured once more by his enemies. God had apparently abandoned them. When their captivity ended, a remnant returned to Jerusalem to reclaim the land and rebuild the Temple. Many of those who returned from Babylon may have pondered if the Lord still had a plan for them and if Jerusalem could be rebuilt one day.

Jerusalem had been leveled. The Temple was razed. Everything they had known and loved, the palaces and the walls, had vanished. They returned to a desolate landscape. It must have appeared to them that God had abandoned his people, devised another plan, or chosen another people. But, in that depressing moment, the motivating God showed them his compassion, as we learn in his messenger Zechariah’s message of comfort and hope. In Zechariah 2:10-12, we read:

“‘Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion, for I am coming and will stay among you,’ declares the LORD.”( “On that day, many countries will join the LORD, and they will be My people.” Then I will reside among you, and you will recognize that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. “The LORD will take possession of Judah, his share in the holy land, and he will pick Jerusalem once more.”

The motivation provided by the Lord through the prophet Zechariah inspired the people to accomplish the rebuilding effort. Foretold to the Israelites that the Messiah would one day come to the Temple and save the nation, foretold by Zechariah. The Lord told the remnant that He had guided them back to Jerusalem and his land for a reason, and that His covenant vow would be kept. God had not abandoned his people or his promises, and he propelled them onward with the hope that his promises would be fulfilled in the future in their hearts and thoughts.

Disenchanted Disciples

The disciples of Jesus (Yesha) are perhaps the most well-known illustration of discouragement. When the Lord told them of his death and return to the Father, the disciples, like the nation of Israel, must have wondered if the Lord was going to abandon them without establishing the promised redemption. After all, the disciples had devoted several years of their lives to Jesus’ ministry. They had abandoned their careers and families to follow and serve the miracle-working Rabbi. All he had to offer them was news of his death and his impending departure.

This is something we can all relate to. We make many sacrifices on our Christian path, and we must go through difficult times without much hope. We could not have survived such moments without God’s drive. We must remember that even in the midst of adversity, the Father is constantly aware of our needs and listens to us. Even when he was ready to die, Jesus could console and encourage his friends. When he was ready to be betrayed and carry the world’s sin, he said to his friends, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; I do not give it to you in the way the world provides it.” “Do not be troubled or fearful of your heart” (John 14:27).

The Father’s character is filled with goodness and truth, exactly like Jesus’. Consider that the King of the Universe wishes to stimulate you in times of disappointment. Even in the midst of dread and insecurity, he brings comfort and serenity to his people. But we would be mistaken if we ignored the critical part that everyone plays in God’s enormous outpouring of motivation. Through His people, the Lord motivates His people. That is the power that must constantly be present in us in order to inspire others to follow in their God-given destiny.

Motivating Others’ Destinies

Do you believe that God’s inspiration through a person can influence the fate of a person or a group? Can it truly transform people’s lives? I believe so. I think that God can use anyone to alter the lives of another person in a single day, week, or lifetime. When someone encourages you, he assists you in reaching a destination you could not have reached on your own. When I think of the biblical character of Joshua, I imagine a bold and strong warrior. I recall his fights with the earth’s inhabitants, which he had to face with great bravery. If you’re not aware of Joshua’s remarkable achievements, check out Dr. Bill Adams’ study “Joshua: Courageous Warrior,” which explains the amazing story of that exemplary leader.

Consider the children of Israel who came out of Egypt, the generation that wandered and died in the desert. They felt discouraged and let down. They had a serious lack of motivation. They couldn’t discover hope and confidence in the Lord on their own. But among them was Joshua, selected by God to be Israel’s new leader, who followed in the footsteps of Moses, the Bible’s greatest prophet.

Joshua was given the instruction to go in and conquer the land. He was aware of his fate and, unlike the rest of the town, he believed in God’s promises and had hope. Nonetheless, God told Moses to encourage Joshua: “Joshua, son of Nun, who is ahead of you, he will go in there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to possess her” (Deut. 1:38). Why did God give Moses these instructions? It’s because someone’s motivation was crucial to Joshua’s fate. The people around Joshua were to encourage him to fulfill his vocation so that they might all fulfill their destiny of entering the Promised Land.

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