What areas in life do you struggle to find motivation?
Sometimes I feel like my largest battle in life is simply to get motivated and get on with what I need to do.
However, when I compile a list of areas where I experience resistance, I see a strange pattern emerging…
Now apart from the usual suspects, where I think we all experience resistance to some degree, like doing the dishes, paying bills and mowing the lawns, I’m discovering the following:
There is a much stronger resistance in areas where there’s competence, and lesser resistance in areas of incompetence.
In other words, where I find it most difficult to find motivation, are the areas in life I’m good at, and most effective in.
To give you an example, I feel like I have a strong competence / effectiveness when it comes to these six areas:
1. Formulating and expressing my ideas when it comes to what God is saying to me, and about leading my church.
2. Helping others discover clarity in life via the means of coaching, counselling and spiritual direction.
3. Reframing ‘who God is’ for people, be it written, or in person.
4. Being a father, whether it be to my own kids, or the fatherless whom I have a soft spot for.
5. Being a good husband.
6. Being a good friend.
By rights, I should solely dedicate my entire life to only these things, because there’s enough here to keep me engaged for life!
But I don’t…
I get distracted, sidetracked, bogged down with other less important stuff. Some days I will spend the entire day neglecting the things above, only to re-arrange my playlists in iTunes, or reorganise the Apps on my ipad.
What’s that all about?
Why or What am I avoiding?
Or is it?
Maybe I’m not the only one?
Your response to what I say from here on will largely be affected by what it is that you believe about the ‘Spiritual World’, the ‘Unseen Realms’…
One of the many bible authors, Paul wrote: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12
If you believe this, then we both believe that there are unseen forces opposing and working against us in ways that we can’t always clearly identify.
We have a spiritual enemy whose life’s mission it is to keep us from operating in our areas of giftedness, passion, competence and effectiveness.
Remember Kevin Spacey’s line in the movie ‘The Usual Suspects’? “What if the devils greatest trick is to make the world believe he’s not real?”
Whether or not you believe in ‘the devil’, or the ‘spiritual world’ doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
I believe there is a spiritual realm with both good and evil, and it’s more like Afghanistan than Disneyland!
John Eldredge says: “If you don’t stand up and fight your spiritual battle, you’ll get taken out! Like it or not.”
There’s come a time in my life where’ I’ve had to take this much more seriously than what I have in the past.
Being defeated is exhausting!
And when I look around and see so many other ‘defeated’ people in my world, everything begins to make so much more sense.
I now believe the resistance comes from opposing forces in the spiritual realms.
So what if we can start getting smarter in our warfare strategies?
What if, instead of letting resistance take us out of the game, we flipped it around and began using it to our advantage?
What if that very resistance points the way forward for us?
If there’s resistance, then let that intrigue you, and start asking better questions of it like; “Why would my spiritual enemy not want me to go here, or do that?”
And if there’s no resistance, then ask why.
I never get resistance to spending a day rearranging my iPad, or sleeping. But I do get resistance every time I think to call someone, or pray with someone.
I’m now looking at every area of resistance in my life because it reveals clues to where I need to be, and what I should be doing!
What if our greatest trick is to use what the enemy throws at us and say “thanks for that, you’ve just shown me the way.”
It’s here that the battle begins…
Up for a fight?