My Desires and God’s Glory

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the personal desires we have in light of God’s purpose and will. So many of our desires are good, God given desires: relationships, children, careers, ministries, etc. We are not wrong in desiring different things in life, unless they are blatantly sinful desires or wants. Of course, even good desires can turn sinful if we allow them to become idols or obsessions. But, generally speaking, desiring certain things is not wrong. In fact, according to Scripture, we are supposed to desire good things. However, we must also consider that God has a specific will and purpose for our life. How do our desires and God’s will go together?

Scripture tells us that God will give us the desires of our hearts when we delight in him (Ps 37:4). We are also told that we can pray for anything and the Lord will grant it (Matt 7:7, Phil 4:6, I Jn 5:14). Not only has he given us certain desires, but he actually invites us to seek him for the fulfillment of those desires. But, what happens when we truly are living in Christ and seeking the Lord daily and still find our desires aren’t met? Has God failed? Have we failed? Is there some other element we are totally missing?

In my life, the most prominent unmet desire has been my want to be married. Although, I do still go back and forth between wanting to be married and wanting to stay single. I wrote more about that here. But, for the most part, I do desire to be married and I know it’s a good desire to have. Biblical marriage is an amazing example of the gospel and can be an incredible way to further God’s kingdom. Also, it is something that only takes place this side of eternity (Matt 22:30). I don’t want to miss out on that. I want to be a part of something that displays Christ’s relationship with his church. I want to go through the bright joys and deep dark places of life with a partner- challenging one another, pushing one another, refining one another, and encouraging one another to look more like Christ. However, for some reason, I am still single. I (imperfectly) desire to grow in wisdom and to live in total submission to God. I pray constantly for him to bless me with a godly husband. I pray constantly for him to mold me into a woman capable of being a godly wife. But, still, I’m single. It can sometimes be downright frustrating. He tells me he will give me the desires of my heart. He tells me to ask and I will receive. But, for some reason, not this. Why?

The answer I have found is, first and foremost, God must be glorified in all things. He wills and purposes whatever is going to bring him the most glory. Think about the cross. Christ desired for it to be taken from him. He prayed to the Father, pleading with him to remove the burden (Matt 26:36-44). But, ultimately, Christ desired the Father’s will above his own. He desired the Father’s glory above all else. So, he was obedient even unto his own death (Phil 2:8). He submitted to the Father even when it was against his own desire. He knew that obedience and living for the Father’s glory was more important than what he wanted. In fact, the one desire he had that far outweighed the rest was his desire for the Father’s will to be done in and through him. Christ was willing to surrender his own desire in order for the Father to be glorified above all else. In this sacrifice of Christ, we see the greatest example of God’s glory.

This is where I find myself today. Yes, I desire to be married and I will continue to pray for that desire to be met. However, God’s glory is what ultimately matters in life. I must always seek his will above my own. I must always seek to bring him glory every single day and in every single circumstance. Today, I am single. Today, I choose to use my singleness for his glory. I will continue to pray for a godly husband. But, more importantly, I will pray for him to do in me whatever will bring him the most glory. Yes, my desire for marriage is good. But, God’s glory is far better.

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