Dictionary.com says inspire means to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence. Wow! That sounds incredible. I want to be inspired! To have a quickening about something to the point that the work doesn’t seem too hard or the road too long. Don’t you?

What we must keep in mind, though, is that many things can inspire us, and not all of them are right for us. A great speaker can move us into taking part in a good cause, or a peer group can motivate us toward trying new things. These aren’t necessarily bad. Particularly if you are stuck in a rut, trying a new activity can be good.

But in the bigger picture of our lives, how do we find inspiration to stay true to the calling God’s placed on our lives? You know, to keep doing that thing that you know God called you to do, but it’s big. Or hard. Or maybe you’re just weary.

photoI keep this posted on my desk, right above my computer, where I do most of my writing. I see it everyday. Sometimes I sit back in my chair and read it two or three times in a row. It’s my heart’s prayer.

If you’re not familiar with the story, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus has just fed thousands of people with two fish and five loaves of bread. Then He makes the disciples get into a boat and go ahead of Him to the other side while he stays behind to pray.

The disciples struggle for hours to row to shore because the wind and waves fight their progress. About 3:00 in the morning, they see someone walking on the water. Naturally, they were terrified.

Jesus calls out to them, and Peter responds, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

Peter knew what he was asking: to do the impossible. To defy gravity and the principles of this earth. To stand tall against the wind and the waves even though he’d just spent hours fighting them. To make progress where the odds were against him.

Yet it was right and good, and Jesus called him.

Many like to point out that Peter took his eyes of Jesus and sank, or that as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he did the impossible. That’s all true. But the point I want you to see is that Peter didn’t even try–until Jesus said, “Come.”

That’s how we keep our motivation when a project is overwhelming. We go back to the knowledge that Jesus called us out of the boat. And if He called, as long as we keep our eyes on Him, we will do the impossible.

What do you face today that you either need to discover if Jesus called you to it or remind yourself that He did?


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