This morning on the Desiring God Blog, I read, “Lord, I want to be free. I want my desires so changed into accord with reality so that I can do what I want to do and never regret it. That's what I want. And so I'm going hard after Jesus to change me, because many of my desires are stupid…” It made me laugh, but it is also MY heart’s cry.
In recent years, I struggled with guilt for increased feelings of reluctance to serve in my church and community. Although facilitating ladies Bible studies at church and the homeless shelter as well as assisting in children’s ministry activities were things I enjoyed at one time, they morphed into something I dreaded in my schedule. If the activity robbed me of time with my husband and kids, I dreaded it all the more. Losing all interest, one-by-one, I dropped them until I was serving nowhere. Then guilt blanketed me. Being with my family was all I desired, and I worried that my world would become too small. Had I made my family into an idol?
But the desire to dig deep in God’s Word never left me. With my extra time, I brushed up on biblical Greek and began studying the Bible more systematically. While I absorbed knowledge and relished a new intimacy with God, I knew it was right for this time in my life. Yet, I knew I was not supposed to keep it private. I’m still trying to figure it all out, but writing what God is showing me is definitely my sweet spot. And dread is not a part of my life anymore.
Now I look for the things that spark my heart to beat a little faster, areas in which I can show love to people around me – not out of the ‘shoulds’ or to prevent guilt, but with pure desire. I am concerned that this is based too much on feelings. Sometimes there are unpleasant duties that must be fulfilled, but I know sometimes God compels me to do them. Sometimes He compels others to do them. Listening for the Spirit’s voice in compelling me is working for me for now.
If I pray daily that God will change my desires so that they will coincide with His, then maybe I can do what I want to do and never regret it. He will allow me to see through His perspective more and more, and He will continue to change me.