We all have desires, right? Hopes and dreams for our life. We make plans. We work toward something we want. We pursue a certain job or establish a certain ministry. We form relationships. We pray for good things we feel that God might want as a part of our life.
I believe that God gives us desires, passions, and goals. I believe He fashions into our souls the drive to pursue things such as:
- a job that we love & are good at
- a ministry that we have a gift for & are energized through
- a godly marriage
- a healthy family
- a friend group that spurs us on toward Christ
Maybe, this year of 2019, you feel it’s time.
Time to …
find that godly spouse to partner with
move out of your parent’s house
become intimately part of a godly church
get that great, fulfilling job
have a baby
pursue your passion by starting college
start that small group for women
move overseas & begin your work as a missionary
publish a book
adopt a child
propose or be proposed to 😉
find physical healing
make a best friend
move to a different state where you feel there is more potential for growth
Whatever it might be. Maybe you’re ready for it. You feel 2019 is the year. And, my dear friend, maybe this is the year for your breakthrough. And that is exciting! Praise the Lord!
But I want to encourage you to keep perspective. Recently, I wrote a post called To Live is Christ. And that is the perspective we must always keep, whether we are pursuing a passion, moving out, getting married, starting a ministry, or getting a new job.
Our Lord says to seek first the kingdom of God …
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
…and even if you feel this desire of yours is part of seeking God’s kingdom (and it may very well be!) remember that our King can see the whole picture, while you can’t. And His plans will prevail. And it is good! You can trust Him.
9 A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.
3 Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
So open your hands, sweet soul.
Hold life with open hands.
So if God plans to give you what you are desiring and pursuing, you will be ready to receive it with the right heart of humility and joy.
So if God turns your plans upside down, your open hands will be able to receive the grace & strength you need to seek His face and rest in His peace.
Open your hands, so He can give you blessings that you never thought to ask for. Maybe blessings you never imagined you’d want.
So He can take things from your life that are actually not good for you (even if you thought they were, at first!)
Hold life with open hands so that you may flee from idols.
1 John 5:21
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Marriage, a job, a ministry, college, a friend group, a new place, etc., these can all become idols if we grip them with desperate hands.
There weren’t meant to be idols. They were meant to be gifts! But we so easily forget God and try to heft other things into His place. And this is painful.
Our lives are for God’s glory! Not ours. We are to love Him with our soul – our whole being.
When we grip something, with desperate hands, we are keeping that aspect of our life from Him. We are not trusting Him with it. We are creating distance between us and God. Straining our relationship, and elevating a gift above the Giver.
We have become idolatrous.
And believe me, dear friend, having idols is painful. It hurts because it is not what we are designed for. It is not God’s good design – it is not how things are supposed to work. Having idols causes invalid and irrational anxiety, fear, suspicion, and anger. It turns our heart against God.
We need our heart’s desire to draw us to God, not away from Him. To draw us to glorify Him, not fill our heart with suspicion that He is not good.
And perhaps it’s not your desire that is the problem, but your heart.
Me desiring a husband and children is not a problem. But if this desire turns in bitterness, passivity, and resentment because I don’t have it, then my heart has wandered from God and His goodness, and strayed down Satan’s dark path.
A woman having a husband and children is not a problem. But if she clings to them so tightly that she is riddled with anxiety & fear, and is filled with suspicion toward God … What if He takes one of them from me? then she has moved out of God’s perfect love and given into Satan’s age-old tactic.
I struggle with anxiety. Probably both of the medical variety, and just a form that is practiced and becomes part of life if one doesn’t reject it.
I’ve often worried, through the years of my life, that if I were in a relationship I’d be anxious … what if this isn’t God’s desired path for me?
If I were engaged and planning a wedding … what if God takes this away from me, for some reason, right when I almost have it?
Married with children … what if one of them dies? How could I bear it?
This anxiety … this doubt … this fear … this questioning of God’s goodness … this sin … this idolatry … It has lessened as I’ve experienced God’s goodness and learned that I can and should abide in Christ. It’s still something that I struggle with. That aspect of my humanity that I wrestle through. That “old man” that I fight.
It is hard, my friends, I know! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just press into God. Repent. Surrender. Ask Him to reveal, more deeply, His infinite love and grace to you, that you may not live with a legalistic, fearful heart, but a joyful, peace-filled, trusting, knowing one.
I have had some thoughts that have helped me. They go something like this:
If the opportunity to enter a romantic relationship comes my way, I will pray about it and get godly counsel from spiritual mentors … and I will entrust it into God’s hands. I will hold it lightly and pay attention to the words of the wise, the opinions of my family, and the peace – or lack of it – that I feel inside. God has shown me that He is at work in the details of my life before, so I know He will be directing my every step in this also. I won’t refuse to feel pain. If this is of Him, hallelujah! If it’s not, then He has better plans in store.
If God is so gracious to me as to bless me with a husband and children, I will strive to hold each of them … precious gifts that they are … with open hands. Because they belong to God before they are ever mine. I don’t get to call the shots. But rather, live in daily thankfulness and entrust them, and myself, into my Father’s loving and powerful Hands.
I think if you try this method of trust, humble surrender, and gratefulness, you will find it much preferable to your method of white-knuckled, anxiety-ridden, painful, peace-less, fake control.
Because, sweet friend, you are not in control. And you pretending that you are is not helping anything. In fact, it’s destroying your peace and your ability to live life more abundantly.
It’s Satan’s attempt to steal from you what the Almighty God has give you.
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
This post is not to say to just expect not to receive what you desire from the Father, but to rest in His peace through the process!
Open your hands.
Rejoice in your loving Father above. ❤
Psalm 31:3, 14-15, 19-22 & 24
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.