February 27, 2019
What Activity Motivates You the Most?
Think back to your childhood and try to remember how you loved to spend your time. What really interested you? Your favorite activity? Was it sports, band, dance, music, or voice lessons? A theatre, acting in plays, gymnastics, crafts, 4-H, cars, working with your hands, or horseback riding? Maybe for you it was an academic team, cheerleading, scouts, or a church youth group. It might even have been helping in the family business.
I remember how much I looked forward to my sport’s practices and games. As scenarios played out in my head, I would try to forecast what I would do, or what the opponents might do, then imagine the possible outcomes. I would circle dates and times on a calendar and as I imagined these events, they would fill my mind and push out everything else. I had to be on my deathbed to miss even a practice, let alone a game. In fact, I even missed some summer vacations to play more baseball.
Part of my full commitment to athletic activities came from my love of sports. But also I showed up because my coach expected me to. He could tell within 3 minutes if I had kept my commitment to practice. In a way, he held me accountable for what I committed to do. But the main reason I showed up was that my coach convinced me that I had the ability to play with greater skill than I believed I had. And I believed he would get me to that level. This was an incredibly powerful tool that effectively motivated me, and I think it’s one that motivates others, also.
What if you could have a daily or hourly appointment with someone who loves you … someone who accepts you just as you are, while seeing in you far more than you see in yourself? What if this ultimate teacher, coach, or parent could relieve your stress, forgive all your transgressions, and eliminate your guilt, insecurity, and especially your world-weariness? In addition, HE could equip you to lead a fulfilled, successful, and abundant life. Wouldn’t you be wildly excited to get to those appointments, practices and games? What in the world could ever hold you back?
If such a place and person did exist, and I hope you know He does, you could be confident that your greatest enemy, Satan, would not want you going to these appointments. Satan would try to talk you out of it, or even hide these opportunities from you. Well, God has been seeking you out and is at your door, knocking ….. waiting for you to open the door for practice to start. Beware, your enemy is always getting in your head and steering you away from the perfect teacher, and towards an impostor coach (or activity) that will lead you astray.
Today, identify one activity that keeps you from daily, regular, life-giving practice sessions with God. Why do you let that activity interfere? Identify a specific reason. Think about why and how you de-value God’s impact in these coaching sessions? Why do you place so much value on the impostor’s coaching? Instead, be motivated by God’s love and acceptance, as well as His expectation of the person He is helping you to become. Don’t let anything interfere with your practice sessions because nothing will be more rewarding than your session with Him. Identify one activity you can shorten to go to a place and Someone for all your heart’s desire. Find practical ways to begin laying a path to Him. Make dates with Him and then keep those dates. Whether you make a date for practice sessions with Him or you continue turning to those imitations or distractions that block practice with the perfect Coach is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Perfect Coach and God, I know deep in my heart that spending time with You is the most important and rewarding investment of time I can make. Yet, it is also the most difficult part of my daily behavior to master. So many false answers get in my way. I pray, Father, that You quiet the lusts of my heart and the evil spirits who work so tirelessly to deceive me with intrusive thoughts and distractions. Help me submit to the Holy Spirit to master my flesh’s impulses and the knee-jerk shortcuts that only lead to anguish. Thank You for not stopping Your work in and through me. I pray in the name of Your Son, my ultimate teacher, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:1-2