Can What You Want and What God Wants Coincide?

When I was a young girl, I remember sitting in a church service, watching a teenage girl dance before the Lord with such passion, elegance, and grace, as tears streamed down her cheeks. When she was through, a minister invited her to the front of the pulpit before the congregation and praised her for her zeal for the Lord. The teenager was gifted in many areas of her life, a straight-A student, well-mannered, as well as being likable. So, the minister asked her, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” With the microphone to her lips, she responded, “Whatever God wants me to be.” The congregation applauded with smiles on their faces. Then, the minister, replied, “That’s beautiful, and God will use you. But, what do YOU want to do when you grow up?” The girl’s answer was fairly the same, “Whatever God wants me to do.” So, the minister concluded, “God has a plan for you, and He will use you if you let him, but it is important for you to know the desires of your heart, as well as His.”

This zealous teenager’s response wasn’t wrong, but rather, didn’t quite grasp the simplicity of the minister’s question. Many of us have often been at this place in our lives as well: adoring God so much that, if possible, we’d shout from the rooftops, “God, here I am! Use me!” And we’re absolutely right for doing so. Yet, in the meantime, God has given us desires and visions for our life. Being made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26), as He has desires, we ALSO have desires. He’s equipped each and every one of us uniquely with gifts, skills, and talents that help pave ways for now and the future. Abraham desired a child, God granted his request, as well as used Him for the Abrahamic Covenant. Esther desired to be the King’s wife, God granted her request, as well as used her to save the existence of the Jewish people, which would later bring the Messiah, Jesus (Esther 2-5). King Solomon desired wisdom, God granted that and used him to build the first temple (1 Kings 6). Joseph desired to be Mary’s husband, and not only was that granted, but God also used him to be the earthly father to the Son of God! (Matt. 1-2).

Picture God as your taxi driver: you get in His car, and you tell Him where you want to go. He tells you that He’ll get you there, but it may take longer than you think, there may be bumps in the road (so make sure you’re wearing your seat belt), and there may be tolls, but not to worry because He’s already paid the price. But, in route, you pass a homeless man on the street, God hands you a long loaf of bread and instructs you to give it to him. You ask Him, “Why?” and He answers, “I give it daily, and plus: I want to use you. You’ll touch his heart and fill his belly. Make sure to tell Him I sent you.” You get back in the car, make a few more stops like that, and then reach your desired destination.

You see, as long as God is at the wheel of your life, He promises to give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4), and in the process, you will learn His desires as well, allowing Him to use you to go wherever He takes you while fulfilling your dreams as well.

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