Discovering Your Desires

I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment.
–Romans 12:3

We all have desires in life. But how can we know whether our desires reflect God’s will for us? First of all, we need to discover what our desires truly are. It’s healthy to understand who you are and what you want in life. In Romans 12:3, Paul wrote, “I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment.” Then Paul talked about spiritual gifts–the unique desire and power God has given every Christian to accomplish His purpose. Paul was saying, “Before you know what your spiritual gift is, you need to evaluate yourself properly.”

I think the same principle applies to using our desires to determine God’s will. To help you evaluate yourself and your desires, let me offer five questions from my friend and leadership expert Bobb Biehl:

  1. If you could do anything you wanted; you had all the time, money, and education you needed; and you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do?
  2. Where do you see yourself ten years from now? What do you want your job, your living situation, your family relationships, and your relationship with God to be like?
  3. If you could accomplish only three measurable things in your life, what would they be?
  4. What three changes could you make in your life that would most please God?
  5. What is your single greatest strength?

In order to use our desires to discern God’s will, we first have to discover what our desires are.

Second, our desires must be consistent with Scripture. God is never going to give you a desire that is inconsistent with His Word.

Third, our desires should be measured against common sense. Suppose you want to start a software business. There’s nothing in the Bible about that. So how can you know if this desire comes from God? Proverbs 4:5 says, “Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!” For example, ask yourself, How will I provide for my family during the start-up phase? Seek out experts and ask, “What are my chances of success in this business?” You see, usually God doesn’t give us a desire that violates common sense. There are some exceptions to that, but most of the time, God leads us to do things that make sense.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Knowing God’s Will by Knowing Yours” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Bobb Biehl, Asking to Win (Lake Mary, FL: Masterplanning Group International), 1996.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

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