Have you ever heard a song that helped you get motivated? Or, even better, have you ever heard a song that helped you STAY motivated? What song is it? (Share in the comments!) All of us experience times where we need that extra push.
The areas vary – maybe you need a little encouragement to stick with healthy eating, getting exercise or with your faith. No matter what it is, we all as human beings have times when we falter.
What helps you remain motivated? For me, these three things help me stay “in the zone”:
Remembering times when things went well
Playing music to block out other distractions
Keeping a clear understanding of where I’m headed
Psalm 47 spells out all of these motivation strategies.
“[God] subdues peoples under us
and nations under our feet.”
Psalm 47:3 NASB
The psalmist recalls when God brought victory and safety. Having already experienced God’s mercy, power and provision, the memory can increase your faith, motivation and expectation that God will do it again. To fully remember, we must also recall what was required in order for those blessings to come about: obedience to God’s Word. 1 Samuel 15:22 teaches us that obedience is better than anything else we can offer to the Lord.
This is extremely encouraging and motivating because it is not just clear, but also POSSIBLE to grab hold of enough faith to believe. When discouraged, we stop and think about how we aren’t up to the tasks at hand. The truth is, without God – we are NOT up to the task. But with the twin pillars of faith and obedience, we are enabled to stop looking at our own abilities and to rely on God. So, we move from contemplating an impossible task to thinking of how we can be obedient as we work toward our desired goals. And then, with full confidence and faith, we can expect God to do the rest.
“O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy…Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm.”
Psalm 47:1, 6-7 NASB
Ever have a time when you are trying to stay motivated to do something difficult, when the “noise” just gets to you? You know what I mean by “noise”, right? It is the steady drum beat of all of the obligations, distractions and negativity that are out there. Everything that is negative and everything that gets in the way of you taking appropriate action to do what needs to be done.
Cutting through the noise often means either standing out from the pack or being able to separate yourself and to exercise laser focus. When my mind is racing, and I’m having trouble concentrating, I often play praise and worship music. This helps me to focus my thoughts on God and the task at hand, nothing else. Even if I stop sing along a little bit, it doesn’t pull me away too much. I’m not distracted.
Sometimes, singing is exactly what I need to do – declaring that God is the God of my life. So too, does the psalmist! He encourages God’s elect to clap and sing to our God because God is worthy to be praised. As much as we think we can multi-task, there are only so many things a brain can hold onto at the same time for a sustained period of time. While declaring God’s might and power to help your situation, it becomes less likely that you will be able to think at the same time that the situation is hopeless. You feel the confidence of the Lord welling up inside of you and this continues to give you motivation long after the song is over.
“[God] chooses our inheritance for us, The glory of Jacob whom He loves.” Psalm 47:4 NASB