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  • Writer's pictureBethany Lee

Aligning Your Desires with God's Desires

In this video, I talk about one way you can make sure that what you desire is in alignment with what God desires and his will for you. I am adding the transcripts to this below the video. After watching the video, take some time with God to talk with him about your desires. Try doing what I suggested in the video to see if your desires are in alignment with God. And I'd love to hear your responses to this. I hope it helps you in your journey with God!


Video Transcript

In my most recent post on my blog, I wrote about creating a theme for your new year. Some of you likely wondered, “well how will I know if what I choose is the one God wants me to choose? Or how do I know what God wants me to focus on?”


In the church, we learn a lot about praying to God for what we want or need and often only get vague answers as to how you might know if it’s in God’s will or not—or at least, that was my impression for a long time. But a long time ago, God showed me a little bit of scripture that really helped me.


Its from 1 Thessalonians, but let me give you a brief summary leading up to this first. Paul spent some time in Thessalonica basically on a mission trip and then went away and after some time he longed to know what was going on with them—if they were continuing in their faith, what questions they might have, etc. But his longing to see them is great. He ends up sending Timothy to find out how they are doing, and after Timothy reports back, Paul writes Thessalonians. Lets read how Paul describes this in his letter to them:


1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:2

“But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 1 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith . . .”


There are a couple of things in this passage which might help you to know what God wants from you. It starts with desire. And it ends when you come to the end of yourself. Lets take a look at these two things.


The Desires of Your Heart

In this letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes, “for we wanted to come to you—certainly, I Paul, did, again and again.” So your first hint about what God wants from you comes from your desire. Paul wanted to go to the Thessalonians. What do you want? What desire do you have? Name it. Tell it to God. And you might ask, “well how do I know that desire is what God wants?” My answer is twofold:


  1. Measure your desire with Philippians 4:8: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” In other words, is your desire noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? If so, keep going.

  2. Recognize your desire as coming from God. If your desire is like Philippians 4:8 in character, then likely it is a desire that God gave you. Many people have heard Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” and interpreted it to mean that God is going to give us what we want. But I have often read that verse to say, if you delight yourself in the Lord, then God will give you your desires because it supernaturally follows that if you delight yourself in the Lord, your desires will come into alignment with his desires!! How cool is that?

Come to the End of Yourself

So the second part of this equation is coming to the end of yourself. Paul wrote that they had tried again and again to go to the Thessalonians, but that Satan had stood in their way. But they didn’t let that stop them. They kept trying to think of a way to get to them. And finally, when they couldn’t stand it any longer, they realized they could stay at Athens by themselves while they sent one person, Timothy, to go see how the Thessalonians were doing and report back to them. “So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy . . .”


You see, Paul tells us that they and he, specifically, wanted to go to them. But Satan kept standing in their way. It is logical to suggest that after trying so many times, Paul realized that ultimately what he wanted was just to know that they were still following after Christ and to encourage them. They did not all need to go. Paul did not need to be the one to go. And once he realized this, then they “thought it best” to be left alone in Athens and to send Timothy. The New King James version of this verse says, “we thought it good to be left in Athens alone.”


They thought it good. It seemed right to them. But this plan did not arrive to them until they couldn’t stand it any longer. Have you ever been at a point about something that you just can’t stand it any longer? Maybe there’s been something in your life that you tried to do your way, but it’s just didn’t work no matter what you tried. But when you finally let go of your ideas of how you wanted it to work or your ideas of how you thought it should work, and were willing to accept another way (even if that meant sacrificing something or putting in more effort or work), then everything started coming together. Because you came to the end of yourself.


You must come to the end of yourself, wanting what you want the way you want it, but yet wanting it so bad that you can’t stand it anymore and are willing to think of new ways to try it. When you come to this place, then you will have the desires of your heart, because then your desires will be in alignment with God’s desires and his will for you.


Recap

So, first, think about what you want, and then pray about it. Ask God, “is this the right thing for me?” Then measure it up to Philippians 4:8: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Finally, come to the end of yourself and be willing to receive that thing the way God wants you to receive it.


And you’ll be glad you did.


Thank you God, for those people who read this. Please let it help them. And thank you for being the wonderful God that you are. Thank you for forgiving me of all the wrong that I've done. Thank you for everything!

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