“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
Throughout my life, I have dreamt of popularity, praise, career advancement, accumulating wealth, and achieving position, to name a few aspirations. I won’t speak for anyone else, but as I look back at my own life, I recognize many of my dreams were the product of selfish ambition; selfish ambition that our culture promotes as a virtue, and the church has, similarly, twisted into something to be admired. I guess at the heart of all my dreams was the desire to be loved, but the love I sought, at the time, wasn’t truly love at all. I was so misguided in those days; I was looking for love in all the wrong places, as the expression goes. It would ultimately take a man named Jesus to save me from myself, and in the process, He turned my whole life upside down.
From My Dreams for This Life:
I am trying more of a free writing approach this evening, so I hope what I am sharing at least makes a little sense. I’ve tried to catch any spelling errors, and at least the major grammatical mistakes. Thank you for entertaining some random thoughts of a man sharing his journey in the Lord; a man who grows weary sometimes, often in silence; life can take a toll.
I no longer have dreams for this life; I haven’t for some time. All of my dreams are vested in the life to come; my dreams are much too precious to be wasted on this side of heaven. See, whereas I view life as fleeting, I view my dreams as lasting; a turn around from how the two are generally perceived. My dreams are where my hope resides; my dreams are the manifestation of my hope, and rest assured, my hope is not of this world. I’m learning to relinquish any hope that I have in this world, which may still be lingering within my mind, piece by piece, bit by bit, every day, and along with it, so goes my will; that I surrender more and more to God. But I’m far from living my dream; I still have a long way to go. I have a life to lead, work to complete, a purpose to fulfill, and training yet to undergo. From a worldly perspective, I may sound, at best, depressed and, at worst, defeated, but I am neither. I am simply one man working out his salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). I realized long ago that I am living behind enemy lines.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). We want so terribly to believe that if God closes one door to a brand new, shiny BMW that he will always open another leading to a Mercedes; what a terrible lie the enemy has sown into our greedy, worldly hearts. Sometimes I wonder how many blessings are really curses, and how many curses are really blessings; we’re just too deceived to recognize the difference.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). I believe Jesus is promising so much more than mere food and water, or the shirt on our backs, here. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). The transition has not been an easy one, and all those demons from my past haven’t exactly given up on luring me back into the fold; temptation has yet to vanish into thin air. And although I still stumble, from time to time, the deep yearning that drives me is no longer the worldly one I left behind; that’s the difference. Now, with warts and all, my heart yearns heavenward, as do the desires of my heart. The Lord is at work within me just as He promised He would be (Philippians 2:13). I must set myself aside (John 3:30); I have been purchased at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20); I am no longer my own (Romans 8:9).
To all the Back to Church Sunday folks I say that the greatest advertisement for Jesus Christ is His people living for Him and not themselves. Unpack your camel, because its cargo is anything but light (Matthew 19:24); I have a feeling Jesus was talking about more than bank statements that day. There is no better witness than living out the Christian life in deed, which we proclaim in word. If we live by the Spirit, then the Spirit will draw the lost to us.
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