The word ‘inspiration’ is defined as the “stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.” It is also defined as “divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.” The origin and history of the word ‘inspiration’ has the implication of “immediate influence of God, or a god” (see dictionary.com). What, or who, inspires you? What do you do when you don’t feel inspired? And, how do you seek out inspiration for your life?
I can answer those last three questions with one word: prayer. Prayer inspires me. Praying to God, and praying through His Holy Word inspires me. And when I don’t “feel” inspired, when depression or other insecurities set in, I always find myself praying, asking the Lord to immediately influence my situation. And its not just prayer that inspires me, but it’s the practice of other spiritual disciplines too, like worship, mediation/reflection, confession and even serving that seek to inspire me and motivate.
I believe that sometimes we let wrong things, and even the wrong people (or their examples) inspire and influence us. Even Satan and his schemes can become our immediate influence in those times of great need. Now whether it’s God, or not, the things that influence us serve as an example to others in their search for inspiration as well.
One of Paul’s first letters to the churches was to Thessalonica and he starts his letter off to them in 1 Thessalonians by saying “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.” How inspiring to know that Paul was praying for them and what’s great is that he communicated to them this truth. Prayer is inspiring. Spiritual disciplines are inspiring and highly influential.
If we go back to 1 Thessalonians again and pick up in verse 3, it says, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction…You became imitators of us and of the Lord…and so you became a model to all the believers…the Lord’s message rang out from you…your faith in God has become known everywhere.”
Have you developed a lifestyle of personal worship that serves to keep you connected to, and inspired by, the Lord? In your personal moments of need are you drawing closer to the Lord for your influence and direction? Because if so, like those in Thessalonica, it will be a powerful model to others, not to mention it dynamic impact on you in that moment. Don’t forget what God has done in your life and how He has used you to make a difference in other people. God’s has chosen you. You belong to Him. And sometimes in our greatest moments of need, it’s seems as if the truth of God’s love for us is all we have. So, “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” [Hebrews 10:23-24]