Motivation as defined by Merriam Webster is a factor within a human being or animal that arouse and direct goal-oriented behaviour. Motivation has long been a central subject of study in psychology. Psychology ranges from humanistic (felt needs), behavioral (external goals) and cognitive (motive). Psychology is a valid science and motivation is useful. However, when it comes our salvation, neither belong in the church.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, ” 1 Timothy 4:1. This deceit will not come dressed in a red cape and pitch fork. It will in fact be subtle and pretty; might even tickle a little. The deceit may even come under a veil of “preaching the Gospel” but instead of having faith in the supernatural power of the Gospel of Jesus, it will guide one toward faith in the program or method applied instead of Jesus’ finished work.
The deceit will be widespread as the methods become appealing to the dark and lost world. The 12 steps, functions and entertainment will keep us “too busy” to sin. Many “good” people with the best of intentions, whose heart is truly breaking, will be pointed to the methods of man and the promises of God. Well intentioned people will be doing the pointing. The deceit that will arise in the church will lead lost down every road but Calvary Road. Calvary Road was and is the only road where sin was defeated not detoured. Any gospel other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified will not save the lost nor sanctify the saints. Psychology in the church is a counterfeit gospel straight from the pits of hell.
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ” Matthew 24:24.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ regenerates a heart. All things are made new. It is His resurrection that makes the Gospel effective. The Lord saved us FROM sin not in sin. What the people need to know is the power of our God. They need to be reminded that our God split the Red Sea and that He can make the sun stand still. God’s children need to be reminded He can deliver them from a den of lions. Psychology in the pulpit exalts itself above the Gospel. Lack of faith in the power of God results in derailed faith. How are the lost going to see the power of God when they are directed toward self will and self preservation which cannot, did not and will not defeat the sin nature. God will not be mocked and He will not share His glory.
Christianity is not a work ethic but a metamorphosis done by the Holy Spirit. It is the Gospel that is powerful. “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” Malachi 3:6. Knowing and believing this scripture, along with every other scripture in God’s Word, causes us to lean on God for our strength. God’s strength and our weakness causes us to want more of Him and less of us, not more of us. We look upward and not inward.
Remembering whose blood purchased our soul will also remind us of the resurrecting power in His Blood, the Blood of Jesus Christ. Dry bones are beginning to rattle and souls are at stake, feed them some meat. – Donna Warren