Women often ask me where I get the motivation to eat moderately, include plenty of physical movement in my schedule, and meet regularly with the Lord by reading his Word and through prayer. These were all activities for which I had absolutely no motivation at one time in my life (and I was a Christian). I tried very hard to work up the motivation and would sometimes succeed, but just for a little while. Then the motivation would fade.
However, for many years these so-called disciplines have been consistently a given for me. What changed?
My beliefs changed, and therefore my motivations changed.
My beliefs about who I am in Christ and how God designed me for evidencing his spiritual fruit changed, so I no longer felt a need to be large in order to protect myself from misbehavior. My beliefs about what emotions were “acceptable” to feel and express to God changed, so I no longer felt the need to stuff my feelings down with food. My understanding about how my body works, especially in relation to my mind and basic health, changed, so it’s more difficult to go without a regular amount of physical movement than to include it in my schedule. My beliefs about God’s grace and power changed, so I stopped seeing a “quiet time” as a chore that would expose me to guilt-producing passages and, instead, started seeing the Scripture and prayer as my lifeline.
Mostly, I stopped trying to gin up my want-to’s and started praying that God would do the work in me that only he could do.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)