Simple Truth for Today: Live by Faith, Not Inspiration

photo courtesy of khattaway, at http://www.sxc.hu

It’s what we trust in but don’t see yet that keeps us going (2 Corinthians 5:7, Message).

It doesn’t really matter what occupation you’re in, you’ll need a healthy dose of faith/perspiration to get through each day. What do I mean by that? Aren’t faith and work opposites?

Because I’m an inspirational writer, the simple truth for today may sound contradictory. Let me try to explain that truth from a writer’s perspective. Do I believe in inspiration? Absolutely! Without God “breathing in,” we writers have nothing to write.

God Is the Source of Every Good Idea

God is the source of every good idea and hopefully, He is the One who inspires all that we do. But if I wait to write until I’m truly “inspired” with a new idea, my creativity might be limited. Perspiration is needed as well. Writing is probably 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. And that’s true in writing–and in life.

Perspiration Equals Faith

But the “perspiration” also involves faith. To face a blank computer screen or notebook requires faith–faith that when I start typing, something of substance and significance will emerge from my brain (eventually). It takes faith to keep on going when you have no idea where you’re headed. (That’s not an excuse for poor planning or good organization of ideas. It just means that the perspiration of faith will bring you to a good destination if you keep at it).

When I write a book, devotion, greeting card, blog, etc., I generally have an idea that may have arrived on the wings of inspiration. But nine times out of ten, I then must flesh out that idea on faith. That’s when my perspiration truly equals faith. That’s when I cry out (in faith): “Lord, I can’t do this, but I know You can!”

Don’t Hold Your Breath

This principle applies to all of us, no matter what we “do.” Oswald Chambers says, “Never live for the rare moments, they are surprises.  God will give us touches of inspiration when He sees we are not in danger of being led away by them.” He adds, “If we try to reintroduce the rare moments of inspiration, it is a sign that it is not God we want.”1

Living/walking by faith, rather than inspiration, means we are not holding our breath until God comes through with another miracle. Instead we recognize our life and work is a miracle from God in itself. God loves us, and loves to surprise us (and does so often), especially when He knows we want Him more than the surprises. But whether you’re a writer, a parent, a blue-collar or white-collar worker, it’s in the everyday work of life that we need and depend on God the most. That’s where God forms and firms our character–and it’s where most people see what and who we are really like.

If you haven’t guessed by now, “inspiration” is another word for “sight.” It’s when God makes plain to us the idea, the plan, the path–and yes, maybe the answer we’ve longed for. But when that’s not as evident to us, faith turns to “perspiration”: the dogged determination to trust God through any given situation, and to keep on being faithful, doing our work, even when God’s moments of inspiration seem distant or rare.

The Test of True Faith

The test of true faith is what you do “in between the miracles.” Thank God for the inspiration. But live faithfully by perspiration.

1Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest Journal (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, special edition, by permission of Discovery House Publishers, 2001).

What about you? What do you think? Please share your comments below. Your words might encourage someone today! You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this blog to someone or to re-post on social media, using the buttons below. If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And if you’d like to, you can sign up for my bi-weekly blog and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar. :-) Your e-mail address will never be sold or given to anyone!

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    Comments

    3 Responses to “Simple Truth for Today: Live by Faith, Not Inspiration”

    1. greeting cards on August 12th, 2011 7:48 pm

      I am inspired with your blog. I think people really needs a source of inspiration and motivation with their lives. Sometimes, life’s getting a little sick, bored and lost. Well, good job for spreading wonderful messages.

    2. Ana Karen G. on January 21st, 2013 4:55 pm

      Thank you for sharing… I thank God for the wisdom He has given to you and for giving you the ability to express it in words. Glory be to Him! I specially loved this paragraph:

      Living/walking by faith, rather than inspiration, means we are not holding our breath until God comes through with another miracle. Instead we recognize our life and work is a miracle from God in itself. God loves us, and loves to surprise us (and does so often), especially when He knows we want Him more than the surprises. But whether you’re a writer, a parent, a blue-collar or white-collar worker, it’s in the everyday work of life that we need and depend on God the most. That’s where God forms and firms our character–and it’s where most people see what and who we are really like.

      It is so true, if God is indeed the Lord of our lives, He wants us to trust Him every moment, not just the ‘important’ or ‘spiritual’ moments. But every area of our lives. To God there are no insignificant moments, nor insignificant people. God bless you!

    3. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on January 25th, 2013 12:34 pm

      Ana, thank you for sharing your comments. Great statement: “To God there are no insignificant moments, nor insignificant people. He loves and values us all the same!

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