Who or What is Driving the World’s Striving?

Drive (Dictionary): To frighten or prod (game, cattle, etc.) into moving in a desired direction, to carry on or through energetically, to convey in a vehicle, to project, inject, or impress incisively (she drove her point home)”
Drive (Bible): Drive on, propel, to expel, to drive, cast or send out, turn upside down, upset, unsettle.

Our culture places a high value on excellence and “striving” for success. Here are a few quotes about striving:

  • “Strive for greatness”
  • “In life, it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness and risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity”
  • “Work hard Be patient”
  • “You must remain focused on your journey to achieve goals”
  • “Living to glorify God means doing everything…for Him, for His way, to point to His greatness and to reflect His goodness.”

Our culture often looks at success as having a substantial 401K, a new car, followed by a life of leisure!  It seems that these days striving is a part of our lifestyle. And all too often strife and striving go hand in hand and involve hidden agendas and power struggles at work and in our families. The Psalmist warned about striving:

Psalm 46:10: Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (NASB) 

King Solomon also had strong opinion about striving:

Ecclesiastes 1:17: And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind. (NASB) 

Ecclesiastes 4:4: I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind. (NASB) 

Ecclesiastes 2:22: For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? (NASB) 

Striving can end up badly and can lead to strife which is a deadly poison:

Proverbs 6:16,19: 16 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him…19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. (NASB)

The Apostle Paul also spoke clearly about striving: 

Galatians 1:10: For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (NASB) 

So, what is striving all about and what motivates or drives us?  More often than not, it is the world pushing its agendas using the devil’s power trying to define how we are to live. It is the world crying out to shed God’s constraints to justify its authority. Strife and striving are a tool Satan uses to capture men to bring them into darkness.

1 Peter 5:8: Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (NASB)

The Lord has His way of dealing with the world:

Psalm 2:1-4:  Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.” (NLT)

Jesus (the anointed One) had a constant struggle with the religious leaders and their hidden agendas:

Hebrews 12:1-3: Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NASB)

As we see the world systems falling more and more into darkness, let us run the race set out for us. 

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