Where My Will Meets His

Michelangelo's painting, Creation of Adam

from Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo

Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.  (Psalm 37:4-6)

How often must we manage our own competing desires?  How often are we required to choose, between multiple desires, which one is a high enough priority to take immediate action to pursue?  Daily?  Hourly?  More frequently than that?

As I sit here typing this post, I am also longing to go back to bed.  I did not get my usual sleep time, last night, plus I have a headache, and I would very much like to crawl back under the covers.  Yet, instead, I’m up writing a blog post.

Why?  Because, as much as I would like to go back to bed, I want even more, to finish this post.  I know I will probably have other opportunities for sleep during the week, but this is likely my only opportunity for writing this post.  So, for me, right now, writing this post is a higher priority, or a deeper desire, than another hour of sleep.

Yet, even as I type, I also pause to sip my coffee.  Granted, the sip of coffee gives me time to think about my choice of words, as well as to combat fatigue.  However, I am making a deliberate choice to stop typing in order to sip coffee.  I am choosing, momentarily, to make a sip of coffee a higher priority than the typing, although I have already chosen to make typing a higher priority than sleep.

Multiple competing desires!  Choosing to forego fulfillment of one desire in order to act on another.  These are the multiple decisions we make during the course of our normal daily activities. 

Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

So, what are the deepest desires of our hearts?  What fundamental desires or priorities motivate us to make the daily choices we act on?

The desire to care and provide for our family is a high priority for many of us.  The desire to be a blessing to others may also rate very high.  But what deeper motivation caused us to even choose to have a family or to become involved in a ministry?  The desire for significance and purpose?  The desire to leave a legacy when we pass from this life?  The desire to love and be loved?  The desire for intimacy?

These are all deep motivators.  Yet we’re still talking about multiple desires that potentially compete for priority, and sometimes require a choice of one above another.

So, what is the deepest desire of my heart?  Is there one over-riding core desire from which all the other desires are born?  If so, what is that desire?

…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will… (Ephesians 1:4-5)

To be what I was created to be…to do what I was created to do…

Could any desire be more fundamental than this?  To be who I was created to be?  To fulfill the destiny which I was created to fulfill? 

God created man in His own image… (Genesis 1:27)

For me, as for other true believers in Christ, the innermost deepest desire of my heart is to become all that God has predestined me to be…to become a true child of God, fully conformed to His image…reflecting His glory in my own unique way, as He created and predestined me to do. 

This is the deepest desire of my heart, from which all other desires are born…even those desires that find their expression in distorted perceptions and sinful actions proving counterproductive to the realization of my deepest heart’s desire.

Too often, Christianity is viewed as restrictive disciplines and rules imposed on us by God.  Too often, we view God’s direction as boundaries keeping us from doing the things we really want to do…as being required to miss out on all the fun pleasures that others get to enjoy, but which our God prohibits us from enjoying.

And yet, as we discussed in an earlier post, God respects our choices.  He holds human free will as sacred, and does not force us to do His bidding.  Rather, He allows us to come to Him freely…or to choose not to come to Him at all…

God is not keeping us from doing anything! 

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Rather, He is holding us accountable to our deepest heart’s desire, while providing direction leading to the fulfillment of our destiny, which He alone knows.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Christianity is not about the denial of pleasure and desires.  Rather, it is about the relentless pursuit of our deepest heart’s desire.  It is about trusting God to help us wisely manage our competing desires, to work toward the fulfillment of our heart’s deepest desire.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.

God remains faithful to the vision of my deepest heart’s desire, even when I lose focus and stray from the pursuit of the vision.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

And it is here, at the very core of my heart, in my deepest desire, that my will meets His!

 

What happens when your will meets God’s will?  When the deepest desire of your heart matches the desire of God’s heart?

 

[This post linked to God-Bumps , Beholding Glory , Graceful , Seedlings , Wellspring]

24 thoughts on “Where My Will Meets His

  1. Yes, ma’am. Managing our competing desires is a full-time job, but God has provided an aid in this. Where we perceive answered prayer is where our desires and God’s have merged…just like in your perfectly chosen picture.

    • “…answered prayer is where our desires and God’s have merged…”

      Amen, JoAnne! When our mouths speak God’s will in faith, those prayers are answered powerfully!

      Thank you!

  2. Our days are filled with so many competing desires, so it is easy to get sidetracked. I do try to “do everything unto the glory of God” but I am certain I often fail miserably. Grateful for grace…

    • “…it is easy to get sidetracked…”

      Yes, so easy to get sidetracked…even to the point of forgetting the goal.

      I am so thankful, that He remains faithful to my heart’s deepest desire, and ever so patiently reminds me and returns me to the right path.

      Thank you, Jennifer!

  3. Every word you wrote is so true! It’s only when our wills and God’s will are in agreement that we can have peace.

  4. I think Phil 2:12-13 expresses the result of our wills lining up with God’s will, and our deepest desires matching His. In Paul’s words, you “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” We work out salvation in activities like worship, witnessing, discipleship, ministry, fellowship, and prayer. We walk in the Spirit, produce the fruit of the Spirit, and let our light shine so that others, who see good works, will glorify our Father in heaven. When our wills meet God’s will, obedience happens.

    • Obedience! Yes, the true wholehearted obdedience of God working out His will in our lives!

      Not the half-hearted obedience born of fear of retribution. Not the reluctant obedience born of obligation and guilt, that starts with good intentions but falters before action is applied.

      True wholehearted obedience born of recognition and trust that God not only desires what is best for me, but also has both the knowledge and ability to bring it about in my life. The obedience born of realizing that God has invited me to be a participant in not only my own salvation, but also of His plan for the salvation of mankind.

      Thank you, Hal!

  5. Your pointing out competing desires really strikes true. I walk a fine line all the time — the desire to be thin vs. the desire to taste bad foods. The desire for pleasure vs. the things that are right. But what you say about faith is interesting. I think i should be praying that my desires become more like his, thus eliminating the competition.

    • Absolutely, David!

      “Delight yourself in the LORD;
      And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

      In reading this verse, I’m struck by the fact that when I am delighting myself in the Lord, my desires are quite different from when I am not.

      Deep down, though, when I explore my deepest heart’s desires, what I most want is to always delight in Him!

  6. Wow Joe, this is incredible! A post worthy to read again and process all weekend. This too is my deepest longing, I really want to please Him, I want my life to be all He desires it to be. What a gift that He shaped that, I didn’t always desire that, I wanted what was the most pain free, the best for me. I am amazed at how He so gently shapes the deepest parts of our soul.

    But seriously about the choices, I’m gonna need more time to think that through. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

    • I smiled reading this comment, Laura! I love it when something clicks between writer and reader…that moment of true communication!

      “I wanted what was the most pain free, the best for me.” At some point, I realized that these were mutally exclusive. That what is best for me is not pain free…and that what God desires for me is what is best for me…and unlike myself, He truly knows what is truly best for me.

      Thank you!

    • “…how important it is to sit at His feet daily so that my desires are aligned to His.”

      Yes! So incredibly important. Otherwise, we are so easily distracted by the multiple competing lesser desires and demands of the moment…

      Thank you, Lyli!

  7. Thought- Delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    Our desires are based on our focus (what we think about) right?
    Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
    Focus on God (delight yourself in Him) = God places His desires in our hearts.
    When we focus on God he changes our hearts and causes our ways to be in agreement with His = Truly changed by God (we can’t do anything to cause true change outside of “drawing near”). If we are changed by God, who can be against us? His plans will succeed!

    • Absolutely! Well stated, Michael!

      If my deepest heart’s desire conforms to His will, it is only because He made it so. And as I spend time with Him, that desire deepens, becomes better defined, and begins to spread and impact my daily choices.

      Thank you, for the insight!

  8. He loves us enough to let us choose. So amazing. I loved this, Joe:

    “For me, as for other true believers in Christ, the innermost deepest desire of my heart is to become all that God has predestined me to be…to become a true child of God, fully conformed to His image…reflecting His glory in my own unique way, as He created and predestined me to do.”

    Amen to that.

    • Yes, He is truly amazing! I am in awe of how He orchestrates events to work His will in my life, while continuing to honor me with the gift of free will.

      Thank you, Laura!

  9. I think this is one of the clearest explanations on this subject. The over-riding desire from when all other desires, many worthy, are born, should be to be who we were created to be. We have choices to make and our deepest desire determines that choice, and it shows us where our true desires are. So convicting. Thank you for this and for directing me here.

    • Yes! I am so glad He remains faithful to my deepest heart’s desire. I can be so easily distracted by lesser desires, but He faithfully draws me back to pursuing Him!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion, Shanda!

  10. Your post and the comment threads that follow remind me of a quote by C.S. Lewis: “We have no doubt that God knows what’s best for us; Our only concern is how much it’s going to hurt.” And another, “God doesn’t exist to make us happy, but to make us holy.” Oh, may we say like Job, “Tho he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Thanks for visiting Be Not Weary and sharing this thought-provoking post.

    • “We have no doubt that God knows what’s best for us; Our only concern is how much it’s going to hurt.”

      So true! I love C.S. Lewis’ writing. He presented very clear discussions on the topics of joy and competing desires.

      We often hear people talk about the patience of Job, but what really stands out to me is Job’s faith.

      “Tho he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”

      Yes! That is the faith I want to have…the trust in God that I want to cling to through every trial of life!

      Thank you, Lori, for expressing it so well!

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