The dream hibernating within you may be the doorway God has chosen to pour out his glory through you.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires
and secret petitions of your heart.
PSALM 37:4 AMP
I used to respond with mixed emotions to this verse. On one hand, it sparked a hope within that my Father saw and knew my heart and would answer those secret longings I had been carrying around, even from childhood. On the other hand, I hesitated, wondering whether my aspirations were just my own or from him. How could I know? And so, over the years I laid down a lot of what I thought were just my own desires, not wanting to walk in selfish disobedience.
One day the Spirit began to stir me up in this area, actually rebuking me for laying down pieces of the vision God had intended for my life. Again, I was torn. I believe the Father put unique tendencies and longings and dreams in each of us, even at our conception. Some of these original desires survive even when we rebel, and they direct, to a degree, what we do and who we become.
Our own selfish ambitions emerge more and more as we long after the things of this world, however, and the waters get pretty muddy. When we turn our heart back toward God and realize our own desires distracted us from his thoughts and plans for us, questions can still linger. So, how do I know if my desires line up with his?
I have learned to ask myself a few questions, believing that his spirit will show me the truth. Above all of my individual desires, what is my one desire? Am I truly willing to do whatever he asks? What if I have laid what I am longing for at his feet, but it still cries out from within me? If my love and desire for my Father rises up above all else, then I must step out in faith, believing the desire that still remains within me is from him. I must lean on him, confident that he is fully able to override my selfish desires with his own, trusting the promise of Philippians 2:13 (nlt), “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.”
Going back to Psalm 37:4, I want to look at the condition of delighting ourselves in the Lord. There is much more to being delighted in God than just being happy with his blessings. Ânag, the Hebrew word used here and translated as delight, is a primary root meaning “to be soft or pliable.” What an amazing picture this is.
It is what the Lord spoke of in Jeremiah 18:6b (amp): “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” We were formed in our mother’s womb before our birth, and when we turn our heart toward Jesus in a second birth, we are being formed again, shaped and molded into the image of Christ, the firstborn among many brethren. As we yield, as we trust, as we rely on him, we are being conformed even more intricately into God’s image in purpose, thought, and action. We received God-given desires at conception and are given more each day as we lay our lives down before him.
I want to encourage you not to quickly lay aside the thing you desire. The dream hibernating within you may be the doorway God has chosen to pour out his glory through you.
(Excerpt from This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship)
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