“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish“…“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:14, Luke 19:10 KJV).
Something I have been thinking about lately is knowing what direction God wants us to walk. I am no expert and find myself daily questioning if I am doing the right thing, if God wants me to follow the dreams I am pursuing.
Of course, He wants us to walk toward and with Him.
But what does that mean in application? What am I even looking for?
Because I want so many things that I am often lost. I want to explore a hidden coastline, stand beneath the unpolluted stars on a new moon night, leave a dust trail behind as I sprint to the finish line. I want to build a community of health and happiness and hope. I want to laugh and smile and walk and write without any pain. I want more, more, more.
And you know what? You know what this ugly expression of “I wants” simplifies to in its most satisfying, beautiful way? What we actually want and are created for, not this periphery laundry list?
I want what You want for me, Lord Jesus Christ.
“I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” John 17:23 KJV (John’s full account of Christ’s prayer here)
It’s so simple.
And it seems so hard.
But this singular want is our starting point, and it is descriptive of every want worth wanting as we grow into our God-given purpose.
Thus we keep asking about everything: “Is this what you want for me God?”
And He answers. He answers in the discomfort of your direction. In your confidence of it. He redirects challenges to proclaim His plan, or to steer you away from danger. In so many ways, He answers.
“And I say unto you: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened…how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:9-10, 13b KJV
In Faith in Our Future | Hope in God’s Plan, I mentioned that our passions, gifts, and pains help reveal God’s plans for us.
What invokes deep love, fulfillment, expression of God-imaged self, and burning desire to fix a wrong — these are what point in the direction of your dreams — these are wanting what God wants.
To follow what is wholesome — that which satisfies our core as the children of our merciful mighty Creator — is to want what God wants.
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 KJV
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10 KJV
It is a slow process at first. “Lord, is this what you want for me?” we ask as we linger and wander until we hear the answer.
We miss the mark, especially at the beginning, more times than not.
We throw ourselves to a variety of paths, babies discovering ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
But with practice, you get quicker. “Lord, is this what You want for me?” you ask as you venture forward unhesitatingly because you already hear the answer. We move faster, faster, faster —
our crawls turn into stumbles,
our stumbles into steps,
steps to strides,
and suddenly we find ourselves running the race set before us,
Run, Run, Run with Purpose,
I want what You want, Lord!
That’s everything, that’s it, and that’s more than anyone can ever imagine.
I want what You want.
“So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:” 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 KJV
It’s so simple.
And it seems so hard.
But really, His guidance makes it so easy.
And the dreams He inspires in answer to our incessant questions are so worth the effort.
“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14 KJV
Learn from those who are already running to their God-given purpose.
From them, how to persistently ask, “Is this what You want for me, God?”
Learn how to listen to His guidance.
How to humbly accept that guidance.
How to run faster, stronger, and better in Christ.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1 KJV
Learn from them that, as flawed beings, we will still fall.
Because, in this growing process, what we want for ourselves does not always match what God wants for us, even though God’s desires for His beloved are more satisfying than the broken goals we conceive for ourselves.
Our misguided plans may seem more attractive at the time. They make sense to us in the limited context we function. How tempting it is to rationalize that God must want this for us, that we need not ask Him first or listen for His answer!
It is uncomfortable to shed the illusions in which we have invested.
But with practice, we develop an eye for the grace-woven pattern of God’s hand in our lives.
The illusions do not look pretty anymore.
How can they when they pale in light of God’s masterpiece unfolding? When He has given so much reason for Faith in Our Future, Hope in His Plans?
“For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ!” Romans 5:17 NIV
In the sorrow, the mess, the nightmare of this passing moment, as we often require, cry out in frustration as we do not get what we think we want. Be lost, confused, uncertain of your true purpose.
But in sweet deep belief of One Who loves us sacrificially, don’t forget to cry out “Lord, I want what You want for me.”
Form my dreams, Lord, reveal them, nourish them and nourish me. Lord, in everything always, let me want what you want!
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:10-14 KJV