Yesterday, I went out door-to-door visiting with Phillip Peeler as we try to do most Sunday afternoons. We enjoy letting folks know that if they don’t currently have a church home that we would love to have them come and visit us at Westside Baptist Church.
Well, we knocked on a door yesterday and the resident kindly told us that he was a member of a local, dying (he described it that way) church. I told him that if he was happy there and he wanted to remain there, then by all means stay.
He quickly came back with the comment: “It doesn’t matter what I want. It only matters what God wants.”
Did you get that? He was completely discounting his desires and saying that God’s desires were the only ones that mattered.
The fact that such a statement makes sense to people reveals something profound about how they view God. They assume that God doesn’t care about their desires. If they happen to want something, then God probably wants something different.
But, as a person of the Book, we have to look at Scripture to find out if such sentiments are true. Does the Bible reveal that a Jesus-follower’s desires don’t matter? Does it reveal that if we want something, God will want something different?
What we find in Scripture is that if we are drawing closer to the Lord in obedience, love, and submission, then our desires become lined up with His desires … and He will satisfy our desires.
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
This verse clearly states that if you desire to enjoy the Lord, then He will meet your desires.
So, let’s move to another more specific scenario. We’ve all heard that in order for someone to go into the full-time ministry, they have to be God-called. But, let’s ask the question: When God calls someone to be a pastor or a missionary or someone else in Christian service, how do we know if He’s calling us?
Answer: What do you desire to do?
1 Timothy 3:1 (NLT) “This is a trustworthy saying: ‘If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.'”
Did you catch that? You can suspect that God is calling you to the ministry if, among other things, you desire to do it.
Friend, it is true that we submit to God’s leadership over us. It is also often true that sometimes God desires things that are different from our own desires. Our struggle with sin is real and it sometimes skews the things that we desire.
But, we read over and over in Scripture that we cannot completely discredit our desires. Oftentimes, God has put them there and our desires are God’s ways of directing us … even in determining which church we want to attend.