What do you want?
Brian and I had the opportunity to visit a new church in Manhattan this morning. What an amazing experience! Not only is church "shopping" interesting in and of itself, its pretty intriguing how 2 people can go to the same church service and see totally different things. (We were in the same room, right?) I think most people who have gone through this experience know what I'm talking about--"Did you notice how they passed the offering buckets?" "I loved that worship song--I've never heard it before, but it was really annointed!" "Who picked out the artwork for this place?" (not to worry, that all took place BEFORE the actual message started!)
Anyway, the important thing is, we did hear the same message and I want to share a bit of it with you because I really feel it's an important concept that we all either need to learn, be reminded of, or encourage others in.
As Christians, we are constantly seeking God's will for our lives. 3 years ago when we first talked about moving to Australia someday, Brian and I spent a lot of time discussing whether or not God wanted us to move to Australia. Was it His will for us to move there? What do we need to do to find out? If it is His will, when do we go? Do these questions sound familiar? Let's try this one: "Is it God's will for me to marry that person?" or how about "Which job is God's will?"
When we tell people we're moving to Australia, the first question is always "Why?" And we always answer, "Why not?" We often follow that answer with "Well, we've always wanted to go and think now is the best time to do it." We never say "It's God's will for us to go" (even though we think it is) we simply say "We've always wanted to go".
Most people say one of two things following our response: Either, "Wow, that's amazing! I would love to be able to do something like that" and they continue on asking us questions about our plans for when we get there and so on. Or they say "Oh, but you've prayed about it and know that this is what God wants for you. . ." Well, yes. But it's not just that. Read on!
In Psalm 37:4 the Bible says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart". It doesn't say 'Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you whatever it is that He wants you to have.'
I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but as Christians we need to take our question of "What is God's will for my life?" a step further and ask ourselves "What do I want?" I haven't met many people who say "I prayed and God showed me I should be a doctor, even though I really wanted to be a pastor" or vice versa. While at first, the task of being a doctor might have seemed daunting, a few years down the road, those doctors can't stop talking about how much they love being a doctor. It may have been a long, difficult road with hefty prices to get there, but not once did they say "I really wish I could just do what I wanted".
See, God gives us the desires of our hearts because He has given us those desires in the first place! His desires become our desires and we often don't even realize it's happened! In fact, we get so used to thinking "I want to be a doctor" that we forget to take it to the next step and think, "Well it's my desire to be a doctor and if I really want to be a doctor, maybe that's God's will for my life."
Now, don't get me wrong, there are times when what we want is NOT what God wants. But that's the catch in the verse above. It says "Delight yourself in the Lord" that means follow Him--not the new hot guy/girl at the gym. Verse 5 of that chapter says "Commit your ways unto Him, trust in Him always, and He will bring it to pass." If we aren't living in sin, but following God, seeking after Him we are delighting ourselves in Him. And therefore, He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts.
Here's what I want to encourage you with, start thinking about God's will for your life in a different light. Stop asking only "What does God want for me?" and start asking "What is it that I desire?" If you can answer that question, you are well on your way to knowing what God wants for you!