We don’t just “know” what we are “supposed” to do with our life. Rarely do we ever know exactly what our “dream” is and the exact steps to take. As we’ve discussed in the last couple of articles, we are all on this journey of discovering our identity and expressing it. We’ve also discussed that identity comes from God, our Father. So, here I want to talk about what it means to express your identity.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my journey with God, it’s this: He loves process.
Process. That means things take time. If you want a majestic oak tree you start with a seed. You plant it, nurture it, and feed it.
One of the most powerful sources for discovering your identity is to realize the desire that God has put in you. Remember, you already have an identity. God knew who you were before you were born. With that identity is a certain uniqueness that we all have: desire. We long for certain things. There are things that catch our eye, certain beauty that speaks to us on a deep level. Just like our identity, no desire is exactly the same. It is yours. Follow it and it will lead you to realize who you truly are. Your identity is fully expressed when you follow your unique desire. How? Because desire is a seed. Every desire that God has put in your heart is a seed. You are responsible for planting it. You can hold on to that seed and ask God to give you a tree (which I have been guilty of) or you can plant that seed and grow it.
Remember, it’s a process.
All you need to do is follow desire. I used to want God to tell me exactly where to go and what to do, and I would never move. But here’s the problem with that thinking. It eliminated my input, my desire. God gave you desire for a reason. It pulls at your heart. It’s foggy, unclear, but it somehow still drives you every day. It’s different than the person next to you.
God doesn’t want to control you. He wants you to dream with Him. He wants you to make a reality of that desire in your heart. Desire is the building blocks of what you are called to do. It is creative in nature. It is the seed that produces the dream. We don’t always know what the dream looks like because the seed hasn’t been planted yet.
“Desire fulfilled is a tree of life” – Proverbs 13:12b
This verse is powerful, and it teaches us something. To produce a tree of life, the seeds of desire must be planted. It requires action on our part, and a process of nurturing. Eventually that desire will turn into something that produces the greatest kind of fruit: life. Life, real life, is what we are really after anyway. It’s what Jesus came to bring when he said, “I have come that you may have life, and more abundantly.” (John 10:10). He isn’t talking about having a long existence or the hope of breathing air for one more day. No, it’s something much more. I believe what he is offering can be found in this question: “What makes you come alive?” (It’s simply another way of asking the question, “What is the dream in your heart?”)
Brock Shinen was our guest recently on the podcast. I was amazed that he does so many different creative things: from podcasting, to being an attorney, to writing novels, and many other things. To him, it’s nothing amazing. He is simply following the desire in his heart. Doing those things makes him feel alive. He doesn’t exactly know where all of those endeavors will lead, but he is planting the “seeds” anyway.
The path to life for you is different than me, or anyone else. What makes you come alive is unique. The great news is that you have the seeds you need to plant already in you, woven into the fabric of who you are. Go out and plant those seeds. Follow desire. Let it start small. Grow it. The life God intended for you is waiting in the shade of that tree.