Updated: May 7, 2020
No matter how I adjusted my pillows, I couldn’t keep the annoying morning light out of my eyes. When the crick in my back could no longer be ignored, I arose from my slumber. A conveniently packaged HelloFresh meal waited inside my refrigerator to be sliced, squeezed, and sautéed, but I reached for the cereal instead.
My walls echoed with the awkwardness of Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute. I switched my attention to my Instagram feed. The day concluded with me eating take out and renting The Day After Tomorrow because 2020 feels a lot like an early 2000s disaster movie.
Does my day sound familiar? Have you had days like this? For many of us in quarantine, this has become basically every day. And though it should be fun, we're getting tired of doing nothing.
How could chilling this hard make us tired?
We need to get off our butts and do something, but how do we motivate ourselves to not let the Play Next Episode button turn all the way white?
Many of us are struggling with motivating ourselves. At least, we think we are.
The deeper issue behind “not being motivated” to grow spiritually is that we are simply more motivated towards other things we think will satisfy our desires more than God.
During my screen-binge Saturday, I desired to be entertained, distracted, and refreshed, but trying to satisfy those desires by numbing out in front of a screen didn’t work.
Here are three innate desires that many of us are trying to satisfy.
WE DESIRE COMFORT
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3
The real chill comes from God, not Netflix. You were designed by God to find real rest in Him. If you spent eight hours on Tik Tok yesterday and wonder why you still feel stressed and anxious, it’s because you’re filling yourself with the wrong kind of comfort.
When you desire comfort, you have two options.
Option 1: I run to Netflix, gaming, tik tok, etc., but am left feeling numb.
Option 2: I run to the God of Comfort who brings peace.
WE DESIRE TO BE KNOWN
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me... Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely.” Psalm 139:1, 4
We want someone to see and love the real us. Where are you seeking to be known? Snapchat? Tinder?
Human relationships are a good thing, but we were never designed to be fulfilled by them alone. God gave us human relationships to point us to a relationship with Him!
When you desire to be known, you have two options.
Option 1: I run to a friend, a relationship, or my best snapchat streak, but am left feeling unfulfilled or rejected.
Option 2: I run to the God who knows me deeply.
WE DESIRE SIGNIFICANCE
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
Where do you find your significance? Grades? Money? How you look? Who you’re dating? Why is getting another A never enough?
It’s because God designed you to find significance in him. He sent His son to die to give you significance that you could never earn on your own.
When you desire to feel significant, you have two options.
Option 1: I desire significance. I claim the status of academic success and my reputation, but am left feeling stressed, afraid of failure, and burnt out.
Option 2: I desire significance. I claim the status that Jesus gave me when He died on the cross.
Our motivation comes from what we believe will satisfy our desires. God designed our desires. Therefore, He’s the only one that can satisfy them. If you’re going to be motivated to grow spiritually, it will begin by understanding what you’re actually desiring, and how God satisfies those things.
Take five minutes to think about how you’ve been trying to satisfy your God-given desires outside of God.
What if the whole time you’ve been chilling on the couch unsuccessfully trying to find peace and rest, God has been eagerly waiting to give you exactly what your heart is longing for? What if God is using this time to get your attention? What if this is HIM pursuing YOU?
Maybe it’s time for you to pursue Him back.
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
Which of the three desires have you been most trying to fulfill?
How can you start pursuing God for this desire?
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