Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Staying Alive While I Live

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Wednesday, February 13, 2013:  Exodus 35:10-36:38

Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. Exodus 35:21 (NKJV)

The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the Lord, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the Lord, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.  Exodus 35:29 (NKJV)

Motivation is a huge thing.  Why do you do what you do?  What are the keys to staying excited about life?  I believe one of the keys to living life to the fullest is to keep the right motivation -- to keep an inspired willing heart.  Life to too short to waste it in dull, aimless existence.  It might seem too idealistic, but I believe we all ought to daily operate with a heart stirred by the Holy Spirit and a will set on fulfilling God's great plans. 

Here are some keys to keeping the right motivation:

1.  KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TO DO.  The children of Israel had a clear plan.  Moses gave detailed instructions concerning the building of God's house.  They did not have to wonder what the next step was.  They were inspired because they could see what God wanted. 

In Lewis Carroll's classic story, Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself lost in an unfamiliar forest.  She arrives at a crossroads and is halted because she did not know which way to take.  Up in a nearby tree is the Cheshire cat, and she asks him which way she should go.  He answers her back, "Well, that depends of where you want to go." 

In indecision, she replies, "Oh, it doesn't really matter, so long as...."

"Well, then", interrupts the Cheshire cat, "it really doesn't matter which road you take,"

I know many folks who have been halted at the crossroads for years.  One of the reasons for this is that they simply do not know where they want to go.  They do not know what God has laid out for them to do.  They don't have a plan.

2.  SEE THE BIG PICTURE.  There is a familiar story told about Sir Christopher Wren, perhaps the greatest architect in British history, who virtually rebuilt the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666.  Among his masterpieces was St. Paul's Cathedral.  It is said that one day he disquised himself and walked down among the workers asking them what they were doing.  The first answered gruffly, "Laying bricks."  The second was more courteous and said, "Building a wall."  The third worker paused and looked directly at Sir Christopher and with a gleam in his eye said, "Sir, I'm building a cathedral."

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Which one of these workers do you want to be?  It is awfully hard to get excited about menial tasks.  But that's because we still see them as menial.  It is inspiring to back up for a moment and realize that the goat hair you are weaving into yarn is becoming a part of perhaps the greatest structure humans have ever built -- a house for God!

3.  FIGHT OFF THE FATIGUE.  Scripture says that the children of Israel had two things working in them: stirred emotions and a willing heart.  One of Satan's primary tactics is to put out the fire inside of you.  He is the Discourager.  He wants to wear down the saints.  Therefore, every morning I take time to stoke the fires in my heart.  I must be emotionally engaged.  I must be willing.  Weariness and discouragement can kill a great vision. 

C.S. Lewis once said, "You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream."  Many years ago, there was a popular song entitled I Want to Live Until I Die.  Jesus said it this way, "I am come that they might have life, and have it abundantly."  May that be your epitaph.  HE REALLY LIVED.

With a stirred heart and a willing spirit, we will see great things done in our day!

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