These words are meant to serve as an encouragement. When I think of inspiring I think of people and places, times and events. Let’s think about the people who inspire us.
Who inspires you and why?
Who are the people across your life who have beaten the odds, strived for excellence without necessarily seeking attention, or persevered and prospered when everyone else gave up?
Can you see them? Have you told them? Is their picture on the fridge or where you can see it so that when you want to give up their memory or presence spurs you on one more time.
We need these people in our lives. Examples of what can be…what we need to be.
And we need to be these people.
Don’t get all false modest on me, thinking there’s nothing in your life that could inspire anyone. You may not be looking to live an inspiring life. You may be wondering if you’ll just make it to lunch—but the way you do even that might be just the inspiration that someone needs to not give up.
Here’s the truth: people are watching. You know that because you watch others.
Be someone’s inspiration today. Face down your giants. Live large though you’re shaking in your shoes. Don’t let anyone—ANYONE—trample your dream. Do what others say can’t be done. Love. Forgive. Live.
You can do this. We can do this together.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12, NIV)
Life seems full of road blocks the inhibit our forward progress. And while we try to figure out how we can get around (or if we even want to try), we look up and see so many things undone or done wrong in the rearview mirror. How can we ever move ahead when what’s behind pulls on our attention?
What keeps the believer moving forward? Knowing that what is expected is not perfection in the sense that we never make the wrong move, flub up, or experience what Paul describes in Romans 7: the thing I want to do, I don’t; and the thing I don’t want to do I keep doing. It’s a horrible tug of war.
Paul gets it—gets us. Inevitably, striving for perfection ends in frustration, shame, and defeat. Focusing on moving forward, taking the steps, making one right choice and then another, is progress. Pressing on to become the person God wants me to be is moving in the right direction.
Pressing on is intentional. Pressing on is work. Pressing on gets me to where God wants me to be, to be who he wants me to be.
Jesus is quite clear on which direction we need to be moving. When he invited people to follow him several gave flimsy excuses about taking care of other things first. To them, and to us he states: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62, NIV).”
What direction are you moving in today?
I read a meme recently that said: “Whether it’s friendship or relationship all bonds are built on trust. Without it you have nothing.”
But in a day when no one seems trust-worthy—how do we do it?
Lincoln Chaffe said, “Trust is built with consistency.”
I believe it is also developed through discerning. Discerning who can be trusted, when, and why.
We trust individuals, corporations, friends, physicians all at different levels and for different reasons.
But we need first to learn to trust ourselves—our intuition, gut, intellect, resources. We need to learn to trust the process.
We need to learn to trust that the truth will rise to the surface, and that is often the process…and it often takes time to rise.
And we need to learn we can trust God. Several times in both the Old and New Testaments there is invitation to test and trust God. Work through his promises and see if he doesn’t come through.
Trust is like a muscle. You have the potential…you just need to exercise it.
Truth? I don’t always feel confident. I rarely function with “no uncertainty.”
But I have boatloads of “strong belief.” And never ending trust in the One who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL I could ask or even imagine.
So today, I will live and move in the “full assurance” that not CAN HE, but He will!
That’s the confidence I carry into today. How about you?
One of my favorite lines in the Christmas story is attributed to Mary—not to what she said, but what she did: Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them (Luke 2:19).
Listening, watching, reflecting.
These things require that we are truly engaged with live as we move through it.
It seems, however, we default to “auto-pilot” with scary ease. It may get us from points A to B—but at what price?
Our ability to reflect impacts not only our ability to remember, but also to apply what we’ve learned.
These memories become treasures as they inform and form us.
Meditate on that!
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13, NLT).
This is exactly the word I needed for today. I need some of that “withstanding” power.
What great or pressure is coming down on you?
Whatever it is God is able to give you exactly what you need to face it, stand up under it, overcome it, and persevere.
Do you feel like you’ve reached your full capacity—can’t take any more?
Reach out to the capacity maker and capacity filler…he has all the strength you need.
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you (1 Chronicles 28:20a NLT).”