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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”—John 10:10 (NKJV)
The more you move through life, the more you recognize the importance of motives. Many situations we find ourselves in can be confusing. Why did the coach put me on the field at that exact moment? Why didn’t the boss give that assignment to me instead? Why haven’t they called me back yet? Why does the bank want that particular document? Why is my doctor asking me about this instead of that?
As we can see, there’s no shortage of confusing circumstances, and we’re bound to enter into the fog bank of uncertainty just through the normal course of doing life. But in times like this, an understanding of one’s motives can really help us see through the haze.
The coach wants to develop you and picked the right moment in the game for that to happen. The boss wants to give someone else the opportunity to grow his skills. They haven’t called back yet because they want to do so when they can have a longer, deeper conversation. The bank wants that document because they know it’s going to move the process along much swifter in the end. The doctor is asking because she has your best interests in mind. You see, life becomes a lot clearer once you have a clear view of one’s motives.
Now, we’re going to raise the stakes considerably. We’re not going to focus on a coach, a boss, or a bank. They have the ability to affect us relationally, vocationally, and financially. But let’s rise to the realm of the spiritual, which ultimately touches every other aspect of our being. Here’s what we know from the passage above: There are two different forces that have the power to impact us spiritually.
On the one side, there’s the “thief.” This refers to the age-old adversary of God and His people, Satan. On the other side, there’s Jesus, who is speaking here in the first person. Now notice, Jesus gives us a valuable piece of information by revealing the motives behind both spiritual influences.
The thief, Satan, is motivated to steal, kill, and destroy. That’s what drives and moves him forward as it relates to his bearing on our lives. However, Jesus tells us that His motive is the exact opposite. He is driven and motivated not by a desire to take our life but to give us life, and a more abundant life than we currently have!
You can see the stark contrast: One wants to drain and pillage us until there’s nothing left, while the other wants to invest in us and bring increased value to our lives.
Who would you rather be impacted by? Again, knowing the motivation behind each force makes it all too clear. It leaves no question who we would rather have influencing our lives. We all want to be under the hand of the One who is driven to add rather than subtract. The Lord is always the right choice! His plans are always going to be better than the plans the devil draws up for us . . . period!
And yet, life can be confusing at times and we think: Why is God allowing me to go through this trial? Why do people who’ve forsaken God seem to prosper—while I suffer? Why should I stay on this path when there seems to be a lot less resistance on that path over there? This life of faith may not be worth it, after all.
Don’t be deceived! Remember the motives because they will help you see through the confusing spiritual circumstances that you encounter. There’s a way that may seem better on the surface, but it only ends in destruction, because that’s the thief’s end game.
Conversely, trust that everything the Lord is allowing you to experience or endure is driven and guided by a good motivation. It may not seem like it now, but time will reveal that the Good Shepherd has been working all along to fulfill His desire to give you a more abundant life.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.