Inspiration or Initiative

In the February 16, My Utmost, Oswald Chambers makes a brilliant observation based on Ephesians 5:14.

God doesn’t give us overcoming life – he gives us life as we overcome. Oswald Chambers

Chambers goes on to say “When the inspiration of God comes, and He says, ‘Arise from the dead…,’ we have to get ourselves up; God will not lift us up.”

Is there an area of your life where God has given you overcoming life? Have you stepped into it? How do you know when God inspires you or when you have human initiative? Is it an either/or proposition? I’m not sure you can tell in the moment. Maybe you can tell for sure when you start, but for me, the lesson works better as I reflect. Sometimes, I’m inspired and I take initiative. Others, I take initiative, and then God gives the inspiration. But I can only tell looking in the rear-view mirror.

Over the years, I have pursued several ideas for jobs and ministries. Often, I would say each was “what God wanted.” Many failed, but, in each situation I learned something important. I learned to appreciate (some) limitations, people, dead ends. And I now appreciate the quote above more than ever. God gives us life as we overcome. If everything is easy, we never become like Christ, work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12), or become a living sacrific (Romans 12:1)

An airplane cannot fly without thrust. We must move to take off. Forward comes before upward. Sometimes we need to get moving, because we as we move, we rise.

When our initiative interacts with, or responds to God’s inspiration, we see Jesus. We see his glory and we appreciate him and make him known. We see him and our friends will too.

What is God inspiring you to do?

What are you waiting for? And what can we do to help?

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