My Desire-Could it be God’s Will?

Mike teaching

In earlier blog posts I have shared how my view of God became distorted due to my relationship with my earthly father.  Somehow I ended up with a twisted, internal assumption that anything I desired in life could not also be something God desired for me.  I almost missed my calling due to this screwed-up theology.

One day in my early twenties, while sitting in a college class, I thought to myself how cool it would be to be a professor in a Christian university someday. But when I had that thought, I suffered immediate emotional backlash. In what seemed like an instant, my emotions transitioned from excited joy to a cold critique of my motives. An inner voice spoke to me clearly and firmly, saying Well, if that is something you want, then it certainly couldn’t be God’s will for you!

As I reflect on this inner voice, I realize it may have originated from two different sources.  First, it definitely fit my distorted view of God that came from my childhood.  If God was angry with me, then he wouldn’t want me to have something I desired.  I also think this voice was probably connected to subtle lies from Satan.  Satan always looks for a small foothold where he can exacerbate a lie we are already telling ourself.  Satan especially loves to attack us in areas where we have emotional struggles.

In speaking about the sheep (people) of his fold, Jesus said, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).  As I look back on over twenty years of being a professor at a Christian university, I shiver to think of all the good things that Satan wanted to steal from me. God has used my calling as a professor to shape and mentor a new generation of missionaries who are serving all over the world. No wonder Satan wanted me to view my desire to be a professor as nothing more than selfishness.

The whole area of calling is frontline spiritual warfare. The Apostle Peter says, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet 2:9). Satan will do everything he can to stop us from messing with people in his kingdom of darkness—he doesn’t want to lose anyone from his kingdom. Every Christian’s calling from God is somehow connected to this very real spiritual battle for the souls of men and women.

I almost missed my life’s calling.  I am so glad I finally overcame the lie that my desire and God’s desire for me could not be the same thing.

Reflection:  What do you deeply desire to do with your life?  Do you sense that this is also God’s will for you?  Why or why not?

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”

Psalms 37:4

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