I recently finished a series of Christian novels in which part of the story involved one of the protagonists going after God’s will so hard, he was essentially starving himself and distanced himself from the things and people in his life that he cherished the most, even before he knew for sure what it was God was asking of him. I must confess that I am very far from that self-less! It was a sharp prick to my conscience, to be sure.
I tend to try to figure out how what I want and what God wants can coexist. I know that isn’t biblical, or even particularly spiritual, but that’s the truth of the matter. I’m nowhere near the the place I can truthfully say that if God’s will requires me to do the exact opposite of what I want, I will do it and be content. I may be able, at times, to do something I really don’t want to do because I believe that is what God wants me to do, but I am rarely truly “content” in the doing of it! Part of me may be able to experience some satisfaction in it, but most of me is trying to figure out how I can get at least some portion of what I want too. I can’t even honestly say I want to get there, but I do want to want to.
The Bible tells us, in several places, that God will give us our hearts’ desire. I also believe that He created us as He intends us to be, hopes and dreams included, so why would He give us hopes and dreams that would be out of our reach if/when we are in His will? This is a tension I have struggled with for many years. It underlies pretty much everything that has happened in my spiritual journey and my efforts to walk with the Lord and fulfill the gifts and callings He has placed within me.
Why did He give me this or that talent/gift and a love for using it if His will and purpose for my life doesn’t allow for the expression of it? Why did He place me in a family or circumstance that created in me a need and desire for something His purpose doesn’t bring into fruition in my life? If there is something that is deeply entwined in His purpose and plan for my life, why do I not have any particular interest in that particular path or activity or any particular liking for it? I have far more questions than answers in this area.
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.”
Yeah, I know. I have to keep reminding myself of that, when all the questions start bubbling up again. I’m not Jesus, I’m often far from even a pale reflection of His selflessness. In and of my own strength, I don’t really want to be. But I want to want to, so I keep asking Him what seeking first His Kingdom means for me, right now. How do I do that in this season and circumstance? And asking Him to work in my heart and mind so that what He wants becomes what I want, my hearts desire.
I pray the same for you.