Why do you do what you do?
Seriously, whether it’s your work, your school, your exercise, your diet, your bill-paying, your church attendance…WHY do you do what you do?
We all have ‘Why’s‘ that we operate under, although we often don’t think about them.
Sometimes our ‘why‘ is very superficial–‘I go to work because I need a paycheck’ or ‘I go to school because I’m required to’.
Here’s the problem though: If you only do these things because you’re told to, or for a short term gain, then the motivation is very superficial and very short-lived..and often very self-centered.
When it comes to longer-term things, though that won’t really work.
WHY do you stay true to your mate? Why do you invest in your kids’ lives?
These need bigger answers–these need to be deeper motives, more sweeping goals.
I stay true to my wife because I love her, and I’ve committed myself to her. She is my prize and I want her to know it!
When it comes to God, this contrast shows up most starkly.
If the only reason I go to church, for example, is that ‘I have to–my parents make me’, or ‘If I don’t, I feel guilty.’, then you’ve got an eternally-significant thing–your relationship with God–being paired up with an extremely superficial, self-centered reason.
That’s not a good mix.
So…WHY do you attend church? WHY do you pray? WHY do you worship? WHY do you obey God?
I’m not asking why these things ‘should be done’, I’m asking you to think about WHY You, specifically, do them.
For example, Paul tells us to “give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable.” (Romans 12:1a) this it a ‘command’ or ‘exhortation’.
WHY should we? Because “This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1b)--because He deserves our worship. As the One True God, He is deserving of our sacrifice and service. As the God who has rescued us and given us eternal life, He certainly deserves our lives!
Paul goes on with another exhortation. He says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”. (Romans 12:2a) This is the ‘What’–the command.
WHY should we do it?
Paul answers, “Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2b)
Paul says that the REASON–the “Why” of our worship and obedience is because 1) As God, He deserves it, and 2) It is Only Then–when we’ve let Him transform us–that we’ll be able to to “Learn God’s will for you–which is good, pleasing and perfect”.
Many of us want ‘the good stuff‘ from God, and we assume that ‘If I do __, then He will do __’. If I comply, He blesses–but that is missing the point.
It’s about worship and transformation. It’s about giving myself completely to Him–which is reasonable, given that He is God and I am not!
As I do that, He works within me, drawing me closer and transforming my life…and THAT’S when it happens…that’s when I start to know and see God’s will. That’s when I start to realize how “good, pleasing and perfect” it is!
WHY should we obey God?
Not because ‘my parents make me’ or because ‘I feel guilty’, but because 1) He deserves it, and 2) because in so doing, we open up the floodgates of the Lord’s blessing–and we see in our lives the proof that His Ways are Perfect!
WHY are you doing what you do, especially re: your relationship with God?
Have the courage to ask that, to pray on that, and to let God change that today!