A third road sign in knowing God's will for our lives is the matter of our own "personal desires." It is possible that our desires may be an indicator pointing to what God wants us to do. It can be a valuable road sign to God's plan and direction.
We need, however, to be very careful in reading our "personal desires." I say this for we all seem to have a habit of equating God's will with what we want. But the truth is, we don't always know what is God's best for us. The Bible says that our heart can be "deceitfully wicked" and may at times not be trusted (Jeremiah 17:9).
For instance, you can long to go and bring your family to immigrate to another country (say, America). Unfortunately, it may just be God's second-best choice for you and not for your ultimate betterment. But still you push your way to get what you want even without God's approval. Yes, you may succeed to get what you want, but outside of God's blessing such achievement is shallow and less satisfying.
Interestingly, God may grant us what we ask for even if it's not His choice for our lives. The Bible is full of accounts of this. Divorce was not God's will and intention, yet He allowed His people to practice easy divorce (Matthew 19: 3-8). God wanted all His people to be priests but still allowed Israel to develop a complicated priesthood (Exodus 19). He also allowed His people to have an earthly king like the other pagan nations although He was really their King (1 Samuel 8: 4-9).
When we insist our personal desires without God's blessing and things turn sour, we can learn the lesson of discerning God's will and best for us. Fortunately, God does not condemn us for our bad choices. It's never the end. Repentance leads us to new beginnings and allows God to even bring good out of our mistakes.
The right key in reading our personal desires in relation to God's will is spiritual balance. Surely, as long as we live in our earthly bodies, our natural desires may do often conflict with those of God. However, the more we grow in His grace and wisdom, the more our personal desires will begin to line up with God's desires and will.
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