Of all the questions we have, worry about not being good enough and wondering what God’s will is for our life, pretty much top the list.
Fortunately the answer to the second question is easy – if God put the desire in your heart, go for it.
The Desires of our Heart
Psalm 37:4 says ““Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” That’s the version most of us know. Actually, most people remember the second half best “….He shall give you the desires of your heart”
Certainly a lot of prosperity preachers have used that small portion of scripture to support their teachings that God is a cosmic ATM, committed to giving us whatever we ask for in faith.
A better translation of the verse says “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desire” Read that carefully – He will give you the desires. He puts the desires into your heart. Taken as a complete thought and in context, it means if we seek to take delight in who God is, to know Him more, include Him in every aspect of life, He puts His will into our heart as the “desires” we experience.
When the number one desire of our heart is to have more of God, we can be sure the other desires in our heart are from Him and are aligned with His will!
God Wants us to Enjoy Free Will
We’ve been led to believe God has a specific role for us to fill. Yet nowhere in scripture does it say God has a unique role for us or a task we must fulfill. It does say He knows the plans HE has for us, which indicates He has a plan. That’s about God, by the way. It’s a revelation about who He is and what He is doing, it’s not about us!
Read That Again: it’s all about God and what He is doing for us.
It does not say His plan is one, unique, specific job, career, lifestyle, ministry, or other role. I have yet to find any scripture, when taken in the context it was written that shows God giving us a preordained job which we must discover and then fulfill.
He allows us free will to choose from many options. You can be a life coach, a stay at home mom, or an attorney. God is not interested in what we do so much as how we do it.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23. Whatever you do, just do it well and not for the sake of pleasing people but to honor the Lord.
If we are trying to choose between two equally good, God honoring career options and worrying about making the wrong choice, our doubt is based in fear – the fear that we can do the wrong thing and displease Him, or be disqualified from earning His blessings.
There is Freedom in God’s Will
I understand the heart that sincerely and deeply desires to do as God wills in every area of life. Many years of my life were spent diligently trying to determine the tasks or career or ministry or whatever, that God wanted me to do. If He would just give me some form of assurance as to what that thing was, I was willing to do it.
People certainly had plenty of ideas for what they said was God’s call on my life. It was usually something that would benefit them or fit neatly into their idea of what a “good Christian” should do.
Usually it was also something I hated doing! I did years of Sunday school teaching. It’s a complete drain on me. It leaves me frustrated and resenting the people who insist I prove to them what a good and obedient person I am by filling the role they think I ought to.
I refuse to do it anymore. Sorry. I no longer care if something thinks I “should” do something in order to win their approval or prove my Christian creds.
Waiting for God to act as a dictator, controlling every choice in our life comes from a misunderstanding of who God wants to be in our life.
The more I learn about the character of God and the depth of His love, the more freedom I find in pursuing who He created me to be instead of worrying about what other people think I should do.
The best thing I or anyone can do with life and gifts we are given is put God first and then pursue the desires He puts in our heart.
Here’s the unbelievable truth:
Whatever you choose becomes God’s will for your life!
What! Wait. That is just heresy. We cannot do whatever we want and tell God it is His will. Can we?
Author and Professor Jerry Sittser of Whitworth University explains it this way:
“If we seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, which is the will of God for our lives, then whatever choices we make concerning the future become the will of God for our lives. There are many pathways we could follow, many options we could pursue. As long as we are seeking God, all of them can be God’s will for our lives, although only one, the path we choose, actually becomes His will.”
That can be a little hard to wrap your head around!
Think of it this way: When you put a 7 year old in a classroom and surround them with learning activities, the child will naturally gravitate toward one first and over time, will explore several areas and ignore others.
Who was in charge of the child’s educational choices, you or them? You were. You choose the time, the location and the options. Then you placed the child into the environment you arranged and allowed them free will within the parameters you set up.
God does the same for His children.
Is it possible to turn over all the tables, toss the crayons in the trash and run out the door in search of something else? Absolutely. Just like the child who rejects the protection and opportunities afford by a classroom and insists on heading outside toward the road full of speeding cars, there are consequences for going outside of God’s will.
However, if the motive of our heart is first and foremost to seek God, love Him, and use our gifts to bless others, God will keep you within the boundaries of His will, whatever your hand finds to do.
God’s Purpose for Our Life
God’s definition of a successful life is best summed up by something Pastor Charles Stanley wrote in his book “Success God’s Way”
Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be…Charles Stanley
We do that by putting God first and seeking a deeper relationship with Him. As we walk through life with the Lord, He uses the situations and events we experience to help shape us into the person He wants us to be, namely a reflection of His son.
What we do along the way is simply the context, the container, within which we do the growing.
If God put in you the desire to be a life coach, then the pursuit of that goal is the container He wants to use in order to help you grow into the person He designed you to be.
The question is not, does God want me to be a coach? Becoming a life coach is not actually God’s final goal for your life. The question is am I willing to pursue the desire God put in my heart and along the way become the person He created me to be?
God’s purpose for each life is exactly the same – to know Him more and to grow in the likeness of Christ. How that happens, the route we take to get there, is different for everyone. Becoming a life coach isn’t your life purpose. It’s one path you can take on the way to becoming more like Christ. God guarantees you’ll get there. He will join you on whichever path you choose to get there.