I hear people say all the time, “Doing something for a reward is selfish. You are supposed to act out of the goodness of your heart.” But that is exactly the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
- Genesis 15:1 God told Abraham, “I am your shield, your very great reward.”
- 2 Samuel 22:21 David sang, “according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.”
- Psalm 19:11 David wrote, “in keeping [the ordinances of the LORD] there is great reward.”
- Psalm 58:11 says, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded.”
- Proverbs 25:22 says, “the Lord will reward you.”
- Matthew 5:12 Jesus said, “Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven.”
- Jesus talks about rewards nine times in Matthew chapters five and six!
- Matthew 16:27 He said, “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”
- Colossians 3:24 says, “you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
- 2 John 1:8 says, “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”
- Revelation 22:12, Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me.”
It is impossible to read the Bible without bumping into the promise of a reward! Everything we do has the motivation of a reward. Without the promise of success or fruit or reward, life becomes drudgery. God works by the reward system. He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Beyond every giant you face is a great reward. David was not interested in Goliath until he heard about the reward, and he asked three times, “Tell me about this reward.”
David mustered the courage by looking at the reward, not at the giant.
He remembered how God had helped him win in an attack from a bear and a lion, and knew that God would help him in attacking this creature named Goliath.
A farmer would never plant a seed of corn without knowing he would receive a whole stalk of corn. No restaurant would serve you a meal without knowing that you are going to reward them at the end of the meal by paying your bill. No waitress would bend over backward to serve you without knowing there was a tip at the end of the service. Nobody would throw a log in a fireplace if there were not a reward—fire, heat and a pleasant atmosphere.
Jesus often talked about rewards. He connected fasting to the reward we gain from it. Jesus said if we seek the Lord in secret, He will reward us openly. He talked about rewards for prophets and righteous men. Paul talked about the rewards and the crowns laid up for him in heaven.
Jesus obeyed the Father for the reward He knew He would gain, and faced a giant called the cross for the joy that set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). He knew the pain would produce a reward, that He would rise from the dead in three days with a glorified, unstoppable body and take tens of millions to heaven with Him.
There is a reward behind every giant you face.
If you do not fight the giant, you will not get your breakthrough.
Until you face the giant, he will keep insulting you and eventually take you out. People say to me, “I am not like David. There is a certain something about conquerors like him.” They have it backward. There is not a certain something; there is something certain about conquerors. They do not have the hokey-pokey, razzle-dazzle allure of a self-proclaimed prophet or a flash-in-the-pan evangelist. They know victory is in the sure Word of God that lasts forever. David could say, “It is in the name of the Lord I am going to face my giant.”
When the Philistines saw that their main man was dead, they left all their riches behind and fled, and the army of Israel finally had the courage and chased them. People love being on the winning side. David became a wealthy prince, and all the riches of the Philistines transferred to Israel. The Bible says the wealth of the wicked is laid up of the just (Proverbs 13:22).
There is coming a day when your enemy will flee and leave riches behind. That is what motivates conquerors. It is okay to be drawn by what you will gain. That is how the gospel works.