Inspiration And Perspiration
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26 NIV
If I asked you who was the greatest American inventor ever, almost all of you would respond Thomas Edison, and that is probably correct. He had an amazing mind matched with a tenacity to overcome failures and turn them into successes. In his lifetime he had over 1,000 patents, incredibly the last was registered when Edison was in his 80’s. Perhaps the greatest quotation from the man “who illuminated the world”, was his contention that genius was “one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. Edison meant that inspiration alone does not lead to success. One has to apply himself and do the work to obtain the desired goal.
While I won’t say that those percentages correlate directly to the spiritual realm, I will say that there is a direct parallel of the premise. Someone can know the truth of the Word of God but fail to apply it to their life. It does require a determined effort to believe the Word and make application of the Word to the circumstances that confront us. That is why James 2:17 explicitly tells us, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” We must put action to our faith (perspiration to our inspiration) if we hope to see results! To achieve all that the Lord has planned for your life you can not merely be aware of the Word. You have to endeavor continually to apply that Word to your life, and that can be difficult when the circumstances are in opposition to the Word of God.
Be inspired by the Word of God but don’t end there. Develop a persistence, a tenacity when it comes to applying the Word to your situation. Determine that you will not give up until you see the promises of the Word come to pass in your life. Thomas Edison may have illuminated the physical world with the incandescent light bulb in 1879, but Jesus is the light to our spiritual world. The inspiration of His Word will shed the light of His victory in your situations if you will work the work of faith in your life.
J Todd Hostetler