[It is] the Spirit of God that made me [which has stirred me up], and the breath of the Almighty that gives me life [which inspires me].
Job 33:4 (AMP)
Are you a person who is internally stirred by something that no person or circumstance can take away?
Being inspired transcends your net worth, job title, marital status or outward appearance. An inspired person can be dropped anywhere, at anytime, in any circumstance, and still inspire others because they are inspired on the inside. Their inspiration isn’t an outward veneer that can be stolen. Their inspiration isn’t a fragile emotion that adversity can sweep away. A truly inspired person is someone who has life breathed into them on the inside. So the real question is…
Do you have a relationship with God where you allow him to breathe life into the dead parts of your heart and life?
Inspiration Starts with an Inconvenient Truth
“Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Just imagine, you’ve built an incredible career, gotten to the height of your profession, the most powerful man in the world is your confidante, and you’re making more money than you know what to do with. And at that moment, you realize that even though you’ve built an impressive life, you haven’t inspired anyone. That was Nehemiah.
Often times, the opportunity to inspire starts with a very untimely and inconvenient truth about the condition of those you love most. God designed us to be moved by the needs of those around us. Relationships are meant to stir us, and lead us to inspiration. This makes relationships are by nature disruptive. They require us to set aside our emotions, preferences, interests and comfort to provide for others.
It took Nehemiah 4 months to embrace the inconvenient truth that God needed him to help his family and friends. He resisted the temptation to nullify God’s inspiration. If Nehemiah had grown apathetic to the needs of his family, he would have missed God’s pathway to inspiration.
What inconvenient truth about people around you are you running from?
Inspired Not Imitation
Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac.
To inspire, you must be willing to be different. Sometimes even considered a maniac. God rarely leads you down the path often trod, because the common path is not inspirational. Nehemiah’s path probably led his co-workers to think he was crazy. But when an uninspired person watches an inspirational person make decisions, they are often confused. Perhaps Steve Jobs said it best,
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
There are many who are captive to imitation inspiration. To truly inspire, you must refuse to settle for an outward inspiration that cannot withstand the trials and unexpected valleys of life. There are 2 kinds of imitation inspiration attempt to take us captive:
Hollow Inspiration – Inspiration that eats you away from the inside out. By the time you reach your goal, you don’t want it anymore because of what it’s cost you.
- Target of Hollow Inspiration – Impressing People
- Hollow Inspiration Exposed – Incapable of withstanding failure
- Examples of Hollow Inspiration – Status (Glory), Greed, Praise (Attention)
Deceptive Philosophy – Humanistic inspiration that forces you to live a lie because it is dependent on other peoples response.
- Target of Deceptive Inspiration – Manipulating People
- Deceptive Inspiration Exposed – Incapable of withstanding rejection
- Examples of Deceptive Inspiration – Guilt, fear, shame
Inspired to take Action
I did not tell anyone what God had inspired me to do for Jerusalem. Then in the middle of the night I got up and went out, taking a few of my companions with me.
God’s inspiration is always others-centric. He doesn’t simply inspire us to be happy or make our lives easier, he’s always seeking to implant seeds of inspiration to change the lives of others.
So, who is God trying to inspire you to help change?