“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
Last time we were together I was sharing about some of the harder aspects of choosing to be a Christ follower. One thing I mentioned was saying the words, “Okay, God, I have desires, wishes, wants – but I trust You and what You want for me is better” can be simple words to say, but hard when you try and put them into practice. When I was younger, I used to think that if I dared to say those words to God, He was going to take my worst fear or something I absolutely hated and torture me with that career or that path for the rest of my life. I envision Fear Factor a little bit – does anyone remember that show? They interview the contestants ahead of time and group them together depending upon their worst fears and that is what the contestants have to overcome in order to win the money at the end. Joe, the host, is famous for telling the winner “Obviously, fear is not a factor for you.”
However, that isn’t God. He doesn’t delight in torturing me. He will allow me to stretch since my character and becoming more like Him is His ultimate goal, but I have to remember two very important factors when I choose to say (and mean) the above words.
The first is that God created me. He knew me and made me the way He did for a reason. He wouldn’t have put certain desires in my genetic makeup (likes, dislikes, passions, gifts, and talents) if He didn’t already have a plan for me to use them for His glory. So…when I give up my control and say, “Okay, God, use me the way You want to,” I’m basically saying, “You know what I’m good at way better than I do. You know how I can shine and make a difference for Your purpose better than me. Here you go – point me in the right direction with instructions and I’m Yours.” Now, there might be seasons where I’m learning skills necessary to do my best in the avenue God eventually chooses and those seasons may not be very fun. However, if I keep listening to His voice and aligning my choices with what He wants, then eventually I will be where God wants me and the fulfillment of my desires/dreams will be greater than if I’d chosen the path myself.
The second is that when I choose to become His child (accept Jesus into my heart as my personal Savior), life stops being about me. It then becomes all about how my life can help fulfill Jesus’ greatest purpose in life – to point everyone toward Himself so that they too can become part of His family and live for eternity in Heaven. He gets all the glory and that’s the way it should be. However, when I let go of control and truly desire what He desires, I find (usually) that I get back my desires and passions to a greater degree than if I were to try and fulfill them on my own.
I truly believe that God plants certain desires in our hearts when we are first being formed. And I truly believe that He wants us to fulfill those desires as much as we want to fulfill those desires. However, I also believe that God allows the path to challenge us so that we have to rely on Him, His map, His timetable, His directions, His course, in order to develop into the people God wants us to be. It’s not so much about the destination as it is about the journey. It’s not about the income, the title, or the position as it is about becoming who He made us to be.
So when I say being a Christ follower is simple…but hard, I speak from experience. Saying, “Yes” to God is easy. That guarantees us a seat at His banquet table. Following the path He places us on (leads us to) can be hard since it requires us to let Him have complete control. However, when we choose to do that, then He showers us with blessings (maybe not at first) but eventually the blessings come because He loves to spoil His children.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015