However do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20 (NIV)
It is exhilarating to be doing great things for God. When you are engaged in Christian ministry the rush can go beyond incredible. This is how Jesus' disciples were feeling after He sent them out two by two. When they returned they were beside themselves with excitement. They said, "even the demons submit to us . . ." Jesus of course was not surprised. He reminded them that their authority over sickness and demons was supernaturally given to them. But something Jesus also made clear was that there was something more miraculous—something more supernatural. It was the simple fact that their names were written in heaven. That is what Jesus is telling His disciples: it's not about casting out demons . . . your names are written in heaven! God intimately knows each one of you by name!
No ministry can go forward and bring glory to God unless we are first submitted to being one of Jesus' disciples. The primary motivation to do great things for God comes not in the doing of those things. In fact, I wonder if the things we do for God should be forgotten as soon as we've done them. For we do them not for the sake of healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, or sheltering the homeless. Our lives are daily actions to serve a God that is blind to our tasks but ever concerned with the condition of our hearts. Could it be that the tasks we do should not be about the task but about the mercy and grace of God who numbered us as one of His own?
The disciple Jesus loved, John, describes the simplicity of this. He writes, "We love because He first loved us" (1John 4:19). We do not love because it makes us feel great (though it does). Our motivation to love others, to express compassion toward others, and to give of ourselves is a result of a God who was merciful toward us while we were still mired in our own sin; yet He chose to call us one of His own and enter our names into the annals of heaven!