I delight to do your will, O my God;

your law is within my heart.

Psalm 40: 8


It seems that understanding motivation should be fairly simple. In theory, this is what all employers, governments, and religious leaders do. This is also an important part of what parents engage in when attempting to lead our children and to get the basic aspects of family living accomplished. These examples do not begin to cover all of the relationships in which seeing and using the motivation of people is a central part of what takes place. In addition, most of us struggle to fully understand the forces and the influences that drive our own actions and reactions as we go about living. It is apparent from David’s comment in this Psalm that this struggle to understand what drives us is not a new one, either.


David has already stated that tradition, ritual, and even the system of sacrifices that God, Himself, had set out for them to follow were not the reason for living within the favor of God. All of these practices could be a form of worship that was engaged in out of love for God and even in obedience to His law, but they were not the motivation for that desire to follow God’s will, and adherence to them was not sufficient to satisfy God’s desire for relationship with His people. As stated above, very little has changed over the years. We still strive for understanding, and we still seek after a system of worship that makes our relationship with God simple and provides a formula for receiving God’s favor through our demonstrated devotion. This reciprocal relationship is often how we understand God’s law and His will.


Yet, that is not what God intends or desires. The Lord delights in our worship, but that delight is greatest when that worship is the on-going expression of the way that we live. In Christ, we have something that David could only imagine, for we have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, and this transformative aspect of the relationship with God implants God’s living law of righteous love within our beings. The presence of Christ within changes the fundamental nature of who we are, and He also clearly defines the motivation for all that we think, say, and do. In Christ, all of our lives can be lived out in worshipful service to God, and so, to the glory of His name and for the purposes of His Kingdom on earth. This possibility should challenge each of us who know Christ, for the question that it raises is one of true commitment and of willing obedience through surrender of self.


So, in all matters whether great or small, my prayer needs to be, “Lord, I repent of my selfish and stubbornly willful thoughts, words, and actions. Show me Your will and lead me into Your ways so that my life will bring glory to Your name and delight to Your eyes. O Lord, You are the delight of my heart and Your loving grace, righteousness and truth are the law that I desire to follow.”