“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart desires” (Psalm 37:4).
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Careful observation shows that your heart desires are often connected to the talents that are inside of you; that’s because God didn’t just bless you with those talents, but He supplied the heart desires to go along with them. What typically remains to be discovered is the path to take in life, and the direction to follow. Being human, there’s the tendency to pick the obvious sociocultural option that is most popular. For instance, if I love music and I can sing, then God “must” be calling me to be a music artist who will turn superstar someday; if my school’s theater director tells me that I’m a “natural” and excellent in plays, then God “must” be leading me to be a big time actor who will be recognized with accolades across the world someday…and so on.
Fortunately for us, God doesn’t [always] leave us to our “wisdom” when we take these heart desires to Him “in prayer” and back it up with the Scripture that seemingly agrees with what we want, and therefore make the mistake that our assumption is approved of God.
Talent + Dreams don’t equal instruction from God, even though both may play hugely in our destiny. No human being ever knows fully what God has in store for them, nor do they know for how long certain dreams may last if they do come true. To assume full knowledge of our future because we think God must surely agree with our plans only leads to heartbreak and disappointment that may destroy any trust that we have in God, and may never be regained.
Firstly, it is important that we understand that when we submit our will to God and choose His own for our lives, it is possible to see the once blurred line that separates dreams from desires. Through growing knowledge of God’s will, we come to see that though the two—dreams and desires—are quite similar, they are not always the same, and in choosing God’s will, talent + desire, with direction from God, may translate into a new dream/vision birthed by the Holy Spirit, which may be entirely different from the one that we initially had; this new dream or vision will lead to a place of deep satisfaction, absolute fulfillment, and eternal contentment. It’s like this: the fact that I can sing doesn’t mean that God is calling me to be a superstar artist; He might be calling me to be a light in a local church in a small town, where my worship of God through vocal praise will give people hope so that their souls will be saved. The fact that I might be an amazing athlete doesn’t mean I’m called be a celebrity that will break records and play in the nationals (or internationals); He might be calling me to use this gift to lead the teenagers in a local league who may someday have huge platforms that they will use to affect the world positively for God’s kingdom. The fact that I may be a great cook doesn’t mean that I’m called to be a celebrity chef with a popular TV show, a famous blog, or monthly bestselling recipe magazine that will rake in the cash with each released edition. I might, instead, be called to be a homemaker who will raise children who will someday minister and teach the world about community and God’s love in ways that I may never imagine…and so on. In each of these scenarios, the desire to serve God in a particular way remains clear and intact. What changes is the dream/vision through which that desire is actualized. So, dream and desire are not always the same. The desire to sing may remain, but the dream to become a famous artist may change; the desire to use athleticism to serve God remains, but the vision of becoming a record-breaking athlete may change; the desire to cook/serve may still be there, but the dream of becoming a celebrity chef may fade away, etc. God who gives the talent and desire will also provide the means through which it will best manifest to serve His purposes. And it’s because of these purposes that when we observe closely, we often find that the different desires that we carry and thought were too odd to be combined and fulfilled in one lifetime, through God’s infinite and manifold wisdom, He is able to tie them all together in our life and pace out their manifestation in a way that we never imagined possible, supplying us with the wisdom and capability to do it all; what He doesn’t deem necessary, He gives us the peace to let go, as He did with King David who wanted to build God’s temple, but instead peaceably gave it up and provided the resources for his son, King Solomon, to fulfill the dream. So we see that God does keep His promises to us and fulfills our heart desires, but not often in the manner that we “dreamed” that He would.
To the one who desired to sing, you may sing. But probably not in the way that you thought you would. You might be called to turn Bible stories/verses into sing-alongs for your two children at home. To the one who thought you would write great bestseller stories that will be turned into books/movies for millions of people to read/view, you might find your calling in telling children’s stories in your Sunday school class or at the orphanage where you volunteer at weekends, changing the lives of these littles for God. To the one who thought you might be a celebrity writer/editor at a famous magazine, you may find fulfillment in being a simple blogger with just twenty weekly views, but will nonetheless impact lives and effect positive change. To the one who thought you would be a famous director in the movie industry, perhaps you will organize the plays that will change people/children’s lives forever at your local church or at the school where you teach.
What then is the lesson?
Never assume you have full knowledge of your future looking through the lens of your “dreams” and talents, because these dreams may change tomorrow depending on the path God leads you on. Only God knows the entirety of our lives start to finish, because He alone wrote our story before we were born (see Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 1:5a). You are not that image that you project of yourself in your mind outside of God’s Word and instruction, nor should you subject yourself to the world’s idea of fulfillment and destiny. You are first of all, a child of God—God’s workmanship prepared beforehand in Jesus Christ to do good works that God has prepared you to do. Everything you do and all that you will become within the will of God is drawn from that center. You are who God says you are—God’s child sent by Him to do good works—and not particularly in the time that we propose, but rather in the fullness of time—God’s time! We may want a particular desire to manifest when we’re twenty, but God may deem it fit to be when we’re sixty, releasing portions of our work in the exact measure that we can handle, making our journey rich with new things so that our best days are always ahead of us.
You may be a leader or not, a celebrity or not, etc.—because not all of us are called to be those things. What will always remain intact as we continue to follow God’s will, is our status as His children. And until we make peace with the truth that our identity is found ONLY in Him, we will never be able to be the person that God has called us to be.
About The Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, & a Mogul Global Ambassador. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.
When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
The article, God’s Promises & Your Heart Desires Vs Your Dreams, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).