One of my favorite scriptures has always been Proverbs 3:5:
Trust in the Lord, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will give you the desires of your heart.
What a wonderful promise we have in this verse, but this is a conditional promise. If we trust in Him and acknowledge Him in all of our ways, then we can be confident that the things that burn in our hearts will be ours. I was pondering this truth the other day and began to consider what exactly does it look like to acknowledge Him in all of my ways.
Am I just giving God a nod? Of course, I want to know His perspective, His answer, His leading, but am I relying far more on my preconceived ideas, traditions, ways of doing things that are just so normal that I don’t really yield them up to the Father? It’s easy for us to think we know God and how He thinks, but often we mistakenly think He thinks the way we do. He clearly tells us, “His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.” He is not like us. This is the very reason that He calls us to come up higher and transcend our earthly thinking, our habits and our ways that have been conformed in certain patterns. We must begin to think with our spirit instead of our soul. If we’ve been born again, then the Holy Spirit is alive within us to lead us in the way God thinks. Jesus’ death on the Cross gave us access to Heaven’s realm, but we need to accept the invitation to “Go up!”
Many of us have been through a long, difficult season of preparation. That season has come to an end and we are now transitioning into a new era: The era of living out our Kingdom Identity. With the beginning of the new year 5780, last month, we can feel the winds changing and a new liberty of the Spirit blowing across the land. We can sense the Lord is releasing us into the “desires of our heart,” but there is still much uncertainty to what that will really look like. The Lord has given many words to encourage us, words that have pressed us to move past discomfort because what we’re about to experience is so unlike anything we’ve seen or known before. The main key to all of this is to stick close to His heart and trust Him, and to be quick to obey even when we don’t understand. It is these exciting, yet mysterious, words from the Lord that have caused me to ask if I’m only giving God a nod; is my acknowledgment of Him is just a cursory gesture or a heartfelt surrender.
After inviting Him to come in and search my heart, He has revealed many places where I was holding on to what I thought things should look like rather than giving Him free reign to release me into the true desire of my heart. I haven’t acted with intentional rebellion toward Him, but rather just a learned way of response and a human tendency toward comfort. When He says “Dream Big,” it’s easy for me to get my heart set on something and form the expectation that that’s the way it’s going to be. I have struggled with these concepts for years seeking understanding of what He really means. When I dream I am specific; I see something and my heart longs for it to be that way. If I was to dream about the perfect house, I would dream in every detail, the color schemes, the light fixtures, the number of rooms, the outdoor areas, etc. I would spend countless hours imagining what this house might look like. That’s dreaming to me! It’s fun and exciting and when I’m finished, I’ve decided I know the desire of my heart. The Father let me walk through this process this past year and it served as a great example to me.
He began talking to me about moving. I had asked about location but didn’t feel Him prompting me to leave my current location. I began looking at houses online and going to open houses. I came up with my list of “must haves” and “wants.” It was so much fun and soon I was chomping at the bit to move. But then some things happened and because I wanted to be obedient and responsive to the Lord, I felt like He might be saying I needed to move to another state. At first I was not happy about this, but I yielded and said, “Yes, Lord,” so I began researching housing in that area. The style of houses, prices and features were completely different. I had to shift my thoughts. It took a while, but eventually I started to see a lot of benefits to moving to this area and I got excited about that. The things on my “must haves” list didn’t change, they just looked different.
After a few more months of nothing happening and no doors opening, God had me beginning to look at things from another angle and I felt impressed to consider going back to the area I am from originally. Though this was something I have NEVER desired to do, I was getting so tired of nothing happening in my current situation that I finally said, “Yes, Lord, I will go if that’s the best place for me and my family.” Sometimes, discomfort is a great motivator! I began looking at houses in a third location. Again, the styles and features of homes were completely different than the previous two locations, but I began to see many benefits there as well. Overall, there were pros and cons to each area I looked at, but in the end, I saw that I could find my “must haves” anywhere even though they would look completely different.
What then were the “desires of my heart,” the specific house or the “must haves?” The “must haves” list came from what I am hoping to do with the house. They have to do with function, not style. As I continued to write lists of how my vision would be accomplished, regardless of location, I saw that these core values and desires have always been in my heart. They were in my heart when I picked my last two homes even though my vision has increased and my purpose has become much clearer since then. This process is one of the ways the Lord helps us to clarify our purpose, desire and destiny. If we hold too tightly to the style, we may prevent God from moving us into the place of destiny and end up settling for something that is more about us than the bigger thing that God has in store.
When we acknowledge God in all our ways, we must give Him free reign to go deep into our heart and pull out the preconceived ideas we have about how the outcome is going to look. We can entrust our “must haves” to Him and then let Him perfectly fulfill them. He knows the things we like and, because He is a Good Father, He delights to give good gifts to His children. He is not limited by budget or ability. The sky is the limit when it comes to God’s ability to fulfill a desire in the heart of His child. Remember His glorious words in Eph 3:20:
Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
To acknowledge God means that we become intimately acquainted with His thoughts about our ways. We will take the time to study Him, to discern Him, to understand why we desire something so that we can trust Him to bring it to pass. It will require a yielding, a surrender of that desire so that we understand it at a deeper level. What is His heart cry behind it? And most importantly, we will gain a perspective that goes far beyond us. The Lord is likely planning to use the desire He put in your heart to satisfy the needs of many others, to cause you to not only receive a blessing, but to be a blessing.
If we invest ourselves in developing greater intimacy with our Creator, we will discover many things about Him and about ourselves, the treasures within that He wants to bring out. This next decade will be about Him demonstrating His power, His beauty, His authority through us. He is going to show Himself through us! It will be far more glorious than any of us can imagine and it will be worth the struggle and discomfort that we have endured. He is faithful to His promises. Do not be afraid to give Him your dreams and your ideas. Trust Him and watch Him cause your heart to swell with delight as you see your desires fulfilled.
It’s about to happen!