Who does God want me to be? What kind of woman does He desire for me to be? What kind of Christian?
Does He want me to be successful in this world? Does He want me to be accepted and popular? Does He want me to be married with children and pursuing a career to secure my identity in this world? Or, rather, does He care more about my heart/my character than the “world” that I create for myself? Is His heart more attuned to my heart than my actions, than my plans, than my dreams?
“As we know God more, we become more like Him.” – Francis Chan
This is His desire for me: to know Him more and become more like Him. And because it’s what He desires for me it must be what I desire for myself as well. I am at a point in my life where I need to be what He wants me to be. I need to be in His presence, surrounded by His heart - His character. I need to be changing and growing to be more like Him. Because the alternative is no longer an option for me.
I’ve lived the life of the “American Dream”; pursuing greatness and ‘success’ in the eyes of man. It’s not worth it! It’s exhausting and frustrating and stressful beyond belief. But more than that, it’s a fruitless endeavor – producing no lasting harvest. The work never ends because the goal never sits still. It’s always changing and always moving farther and farther away from you. There is no hope of achieving the end goal in that life. And I no longer want to achieve it.
But the God-given goals, the pursuit of His character and His desires, that’s something that has value. It’s something that lasts beyond me, that can make immediate differences in myself and those around me. It’s something that, yes is still ever developing, but has benchmarks – it has levels and paths to it. It has goals that you can achieve and proven methods of success. You spend time with Him and you become more like Him. Slowly, steadily, your heart begins to line up with His heart. Your desires begin to match His desires. Your very mannerisms and behaviors begin to shift to be more like Him, simply because you’re in His presence. That’s really all it takes!
“For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
Compare the two paths: One takes all your energy, all your ambition, all your strength and ultimately leads to nothing of lasting value – nothing but defeat. While the other only requires one thing, spending time with the God who loves you more than anything. And this simple path leads to lasting promises, never failing love, eternal blessings, and a renewed mind and heart. I may be oversimplifying it, but to me there is no real comparison.
So why then do we continually seek after this world’s definition of who we should be? Why do I constantly stumble back into the rhythm of fear and pressure and stress? Why does this world have such an easy hold on our hearts and minds? Because it takes hardships and struggles to strengthen our relationship with God. And we are more focused on our own comfort than our character. We are focused on making this life easier rather than on making ourselves stronger in the Lord.
It ultimately comes down to one question: How badly do I want a FULL relationship with Jesus?
If I am willing to withstand the hardships I will reap the reward of a greater understanding of who He is and a closer connection to the Savior of the world. If I am willing to sacrifice my own ‘security’ in this world, I will gain true faith and true understanding of the God who protects and provides more than I am ever aware of. If I am willing to feel the emotions I so fight and dread, the emotions of grief and pain and suffering, I will harvest a bounty of compassion for others, of comfort directly from the Holy Spirit Himself, and of a greater understanding of my role in His story for this small nugget of time that I’m here. But I must be willing.
Lord, make me willing. Make me steadfast in Your presence. Make me more like You than I even thought possible. Guide me through the hardships, through the trials, through the battles, knowing that You are fighting with me. Teach me Your truths in this life, Lord God, so that I can be the woman, the Christian, the daughter, You desire me to be. And may we all keep our focus on You to awaken our souls to Your greatness. Amen.