“Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness.
He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan.”
Mark 1:12 NLT

A couple years back, my husband told me about a book he was reading for his masters. It was called “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink. In it, Mr. Pink proposes that there is something more motivating than biological needs or rewards and punishments. He explores a third type of motivation that he believes really drives us:

“Rewards don’t work. People are more motivated by internal factors than by external drivers. Once basic financial needs are met, people are more motivated by having a desire for Mastery and a sense of Autonomy/self-direction towards a driving Purpose.”Ignition Blog

It’s all about intrinsic motivation. Something inherent – naturally part of us – that drives us to take that next step, as well as the 500 beyond it.

The reason this particular memory surfaced is because of something I read in the Bible this week. Mark is chronicling Jesus’ life. In chapter one, he describes Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist:

“One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, ‘You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.'” (Mark 1:9-11 NLT)

Can you imagine?! If I were in Jesus’ shoes, I wouldn’t ever want to leave that experience. BUT, the very next verses show there was no time to waste.

“Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness. He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.” (Mark 1:12-13 NLT)

In the original Greek, the word NLT translates as “compelled” is actually the phrase “drives out.”  It’s interesting because the moment the Holy Spirit drives Jesus OUT of was an incredibly comforting and empowering moment. He had just been baptized by John. The heavens themselves opened up and the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove. God the Father spoke in an audible voice, telling anyone and everyone “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” THAT is what Jesus was driven out from.

Now look what he was driven TO: A wilderness. And, if that weren’t bad enough, he stayed there for 40 days being tempted by Satan. He was kept company only by wild animals and ministered to by angels. No friends. No margaritas on the beach. No pizza & family movie night.

What was he driven by? Not even Daniel Pink – whose philosophy is incredibly awesome – got this one right. It says in scripture that Jesus was driven out by the perfect Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit moved him to move.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! It’s awesome because it means we don’t have to worry if we haven’t found our purpose or our passion just yet. It’s awesome because it means we don’t have to worry if we don’t work for a company that values autonomy. It’s awesome because we can keep moving forward even as a “jack of all trades and master of none.”

It’s awesome because we, like Jesus, are driven by the perfect motivation; it’s not extrinsic or intrinsic. It’s omnipotent.


Dear Lord, I needed this today. I needed the reminder that I’m going to be okay even on the days where I’ve lost my passion and purpose. I needed the reminder that YOU are my drive. You are so incredible. Thank you for sharing your perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful Holy Spirit with each of us. Amen.

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  1. Kristen Pettigrew


    • messyworship

      Thanks, Kristen!!

  2. Anonymous

    Inspirational as usual. You rock young lady! As you were thinking, Baby Tyler was spending his first full day on earth. Whew!

    • messyworship

      Thanks!!! Yep – that makes it a pretty awesome day for sure!!!!


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