What Inspires You?

What Inspires You?

Tibet

In the early 2000s, Walt Disney Imagineering (the creative geniuses behind the Disney Parks) set out on a mission to build a thrill ride that could rival anything in the world. Instead of simply building an epic roller coaster, they wanted to tell an immersive story that allowed guests to feel like they were legitimately going to face peril in a setting that was not in the United States. They wanted to build a ride that seemed to journey through the Himalayan mountains, and they wanted the train to come face-to-face with a yeti (a very scary snowman). They couldn’t allow this to feel artificial, so the leaders of the team working on the project boarded a plane and flew to Tibet. They wanted to feel the culture of Tibet so they could accurately build a Tibettin village in central Florida. They sought conversations with locals, stayed in local towns, and spent a significant amount of time there to truly be inspired to replicate the lifestyle of the people native to Tibet. The inspiration worked, and they were able to design a slice of a theme park that genuinely feels like you have traveled overseas to a different country. What they needed to create something excellent was inspiration from the real thing.

It’s horrifying that we have people all over the world who profess to follow Christ but fail to take inspiration from the real Jesus. We seek church leaders, televangelists, mentors, and so many others to show us who Jesus is, and then we try to live like the Jesus that they show us.

There is a growing church organization that calls a town in Tennessee their home. Their claim? They only teach the Bible. If there is anything said that doesn’t have a verse with it, they call it a fallacy. This sounds pretty incredible, right? A place that only teaches the Bible? Sign me up! The thing is, at this place, the only person who decides if something is Biblical is the guy in charge, and it just so happens that the Bible 100% supports anything in his life. People have flocked in thousands to be a part of this church, and it once again shows that we have people who will allow their Christian inspiration to come from places other than the real Jesus. It isn’t just that church, though. Churches like this have popped up all throughout time.

This shouldn’t be a shock to you and me. Look what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3–4.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Today, you and I may not be in a place where we are listening to aggressive false teachers. We may not be in a place where we are choosing to attend churches that are simply pleasure-seeking. Here is the question I must ask myself: am I allowing myself to be inspired by my own passions instead of Jesus? What is terrifying about this question… It’s hard for me to answer personally. Often, I allow myself to think I am all clear in certain areas while I allow my passions to guide me to a Jesus who is good with them when there is a chance He is not. Disclaimer: I don’t think this passage is discussing our passion for college football or arts and crafts. I believe this passage is bringing out that we may allow ourselves to think that things are Spiritually okay, present, or challenging when they are so far from the legitimate Jesus following.

There must be a self-challenge if we want to ensure we are not pursuing our personal passions: is everything I am doing being inspired by the life that Jesus lived? Not some random Jesus teaching, but the Jesus we read about in the scriptures. Is the way I interact with people around me inspired by Jesus? Are the discussions inside of my home inspired by Jesus? Is the way I love my spouse inspired by Jesus? The list could continue, but let the point remain clear: if we desire to have a life that is as close to the life of Jesus as possible, we have to make sure we are not turning to fake Jesuses. It takes actually going to the source and exploring everything about Him. I challenge every reader of the gospel to find something new and beautiful about Jesus every time you read His story, and allow your life to be inspired!