You cannot sustain a God-given passion or fulfill a God-given dream apart from the One who gave it. He must be the motivation and the orchestrater. I have seen this in my life time and time again. Psalm 52:9 seems to be a reoccurring theme in my heart these days. Today I cannot help but say again, "I will thank You forever, because You have done it." Him - not me, not my plans or schemes. The things He has put in our hearts have come to pass.
Some of you know about the big change that has recently occurred in our lives. Today is my husband's first day working in full-time ministry on staff at our church. My heart could burst with thankfulness. When Jonathan and I first started "getting to know each other" back in 2008, we talked about our dreams and passions. The more we conversed, the more we realized that they were the same. I have no doubt that God brought us together then for one passion and one purpose - for Him. Since then we've been through season after season of waiting. Sometimes we tried to make things work. Obviously, they failed. Other times we struggled with contentment when we knew what God put in our hearts. Now in His timing, He has moved us.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and talk to little 21 year old me right after we got married. I wish I could tell her how God was going to teach her, stretch her and grow her faith. Somehow I don't think she'd believe me if I told her God was going to give her a wedding photography business (and a passion for it) or that they were not going to seminary. I think she'd be a little sad to know that God would have to crush her dreams in order to give her His. I wish I could tell her that God would give her new dreams and passions, but she wouldn't be able to see the full extent of them. (Even now I don't see it all.) Still, He'd call her to pursue them and live out everyday in trust and dependance on Him; but if she took things into her own hands, they'd fall apart instantly. Maybe she'd understand, at least a little, that God has to be the sustainer of the passions He gives. We cannot go chasing after them on our own. He must be the one to fulfill the dreams He gives. We cannot make them happen. I've learned that the hard way more times than I care to count.
If God is not the motivation for living out our passions, then whatever the passion is will take His place. We make the dream about our name and our glory. Then our hearts easily deceive us into thinking we are living with purpose and doing the right things. I know, because I've done it. Having a purpose, a cause and a mission became my idol. The good desire of wanting my life to count, once mixed with pride, just created a pretty mask for my hunger for success. (More about that here.) I don't want that again. I need Jesus - everyday to be my vision, the Lord of my heart.He must be the reason I wake up and start this work. He must be the driving factor behind my decisions. He has to be the One enabling me to live out the passion He has burning inside my soul, or it will fizzle out so quickly. And you can't really fake a fire once it's gone. If He isn't the motivation for what we "do for Him", what good is it? I am frail and flawed. I cannot accomplish the task He has given. Let my heart not feed itself with pride, coveting the glory that only belongs to my Jesus. May my God keep me in my place and make me know my weakness that I may lean on His strength.
Thus as we enter into a new chapter, this is the cry of my heart. Be my Vision God. Be all that I see.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art Thou my best Thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight; Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight; Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower: Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.