Have you ever pushed for something and been completely committed to it, only to realize down the road that it was a bad idea? We talked yesterday about personal mottos and life mantras, and I shared that as a teenager there were two personal mottos I adopted and lived by for over twenty years:
– Dare to be Different
– Make It Happen
Today let’s talk about “making it happen” because this is something most of us try to do. Often.
The first question is: What is “It”? What are we trying to make happen? It could be anything we feel we have to have. It could be something we’re passionate about. It could be something we think would be fun or advantageous. It could be something we desperately need.
A job. A relationship. A baby. A strategic business deal. The right school for our child. A gala. The appearance of a lifestyle.
It will be different for each of us. What isn’t different is that we’ll do whatever it takes to make It happen.
It becomes a mission. And we start viewing our success or failure based on our ability to bring It to fruition. Our focus, our conversations, our stress and anxiety. They’re all centered around It. We have to understand that It isn’t inherently bad. But if It begins to consume our life, then we have a problem.
The other problem is that we can be dead-set on making It happen, and It may not be what God wants for us.
This is where seeking God and asking for guidance comes in. Our emotions and desires are fully engaged in It. We want It. We need It. We can’t see why we shouldn’t have It. Sooner rather than later. And so we make It happen.
Sometimes what we want or think should happen is really good. But It still may not be what’s best according to God’s plan. How will we know what God wants? By asking Him. By going to Him in prayer. By humbly putting It in God’s hands and waiting for a response as we seek God and His will.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Many people read this and think that if they pray to God He’ll give them what they want. That’s not what the verse says. It starts by saying “Delight yourself in the LORD.” That means love God. He wants each and every one of us to get to know Him. To pursue Him and get excited about our relationship with Him. Then He will give us the desires of our heart. Again, this doesn’t mean He’ll necessarily give us what we think we want today. God says He’ll give us His desires, i.e. He’ll place His desires upon our heart and they will become our desires.
As we grow in our relationship with God, not only do we become more like Him, but our desires become the same things that God desires for us. So what we want today probably will not be the same things we want as our perspective is transformed and we look at things through God’s eyes.
Having drive and bringing things to completion can be very good. But if we’re striving to make It happen, regardless of what It is, we’re headed for a bumpy road ahead. Let’s press pause, and instead of pursuing It, let’s pursue God. Let’s delight in Him first. Then we’ll receive the desires of our heart.
We may be very surprised at how different our new desires are compared to It.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
May I pray?
Father God, we’ve been taught that going after our dreams and making things happen are good. But what we’re not taught is that there can be serious consequences and we can miss out on Your blessing when we pursue things instead of pursuing You. Please speak to us today as we bring our requests for guidance to You. May we think about what it means to truly delight in someone, and may we begin delighting in You. Amen.
Q4U: What is your personal motto or life mantra?