Happy 2015, friends!
We're getting close to the launch of BECOMING Magazine and its got me thinking about you and what you might want to get out of this New Year. Even if the last year was a good one, rarely will any of us say that it couldn't be improved upon in some way. Especially in our spiritual lives, there is always room for growth as our sanctification is an ongoing process!
A new year usually brings a desire for a new work to be done in our lives. Transformation seems possible, big dreams seem achievable, and, whether we are conscious of it or not, we are each looking for inspiration―some fresh ideas to motivate us toward our goals. So, I wanted to ask you… are you hoping to be inspired this year? Are you in a great season of growth or are you a little bit stuck?
If you're stuck, know that we all end up there, no matter how long we have been walking with God. I was deep in a "stuck" season, spiritually speaking, about five years ago. It's not that any one thing was particularly wrong in my life, but my faith and my study of the Bible seemed dry and stale. I was hungry for something more, but I didn't know what it was. I was in desperate need of some holy inspiration.
If you find yourself in the same situation at the beginning of this new year, here are three things I've learned about inspiration that might help bring some perspective:
1. It doesn't take much. Sometimes, one beautiful image or a few carefully crafted words are enough to lift our eyes from the daily grind and allow us to embrace the possibilities and see the bigger picture. In my own life, just a few simple, but heart-stirring words from the Holy Spirit set me on a focused course that has grown into this ministry called BECOMING. Literally, eight words in a split second changed my life. With eyes, ears, and hearts attuned to God, inspiration is all around us. Read, listen to, and love the things of God, and you will find inspiration.
2. It doesn't last forever. We find it, we use it, it propels us forward… and then, we need some more. One effect of sin in our lives is that we have trouble staying satisfied with our current circumstances. Paul's words in Philippians, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance…", is an oft quoted passage of Scripture precisely because contentment is a deep area of struggle for all of us. One inspired moment may not fuel us forever, but with God as our guide, new inspiration is never too far away.
3. It comes from the outside. We all know that when we're stuck, we are rarely able to motivate ourselves out of that state. God is the author of all that is true, beautiful, and good―not us!―and so it makes sense that inspiration comes from outside ourselves. Only His inspiration is able to transcend the confines of the human experience and move us toward real change. He gives us nature, music, art, His church, His Word, Himself! If you're stuck, you might start taking notice of what God's doing around you.
BECOMING is meant to be a source of inspiration for all of us that hear God's call to deeper transformation. It is the resource I longed for those years ago when I was stuck―the one that would challenge me to dig deeper and think beyond the easy answer. A resource that would point me to the way of true transformation rather than applying tired Christian platitudes to my questions and wounds. It is a springboard to help plunge us into more meaningful conversation about God and to point you to more intentional relationship with Him.
BECOMING will not give you all the answers, nor is it a replacement for spending consistent time in God's Word or in community with His people. What it will do, I pray, is open up some new areas of thought for you to consider and give the Holy Spirit just one more avenue to push you to not settle with a hum-drum, mediocre faith.
I can't wait to watch how God will knit us together this year as we all seek―together―to live inspired and transformed lives through His power!