God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
When you read the book of Genesis and you see the twelve simple words in the quote above, do you realize that we – you and I – are part of “all that he had made” in the above quote? Our gifts, talents, abilities, our very hearts and souls are uniquely our own and He made us in the way we truly are. I’m not referring to the “self” we mold ourselves into based on society’s expectations or the pressure from friends, family, teachers, coworkers, and the like. I’m referring to our true selves. Yet, and this is a HUGE YET, we deny our true nature and step away from our true selves and our God-given authenticity and adapt ourselves to the whims and desires of virtual strangers rather than seeking His direction and following His path for our lives. Having done this so habitually, having followed the “sensible” approach to life for so long, we or I should say I can reach a point where we are no longer cognitively aware of the desire of our hearts – our true purpose – because we’ve packed it away so deeply beneath a surface covered with layers and layers of false expectations and self-doubt. Is it really self-doubt?
I say this because I’ve personally been on an incredible journey with the Lord for a while now and I feel I’m near the end of this particular leg of the journey and yet I’m still questioning “what do you really want me to do, Lord?” We have many journeys in our earthly life. It often feels like “why am I always battling?” but I don’t think that’s really “it.” We are presented with challenges and as we live and grow, we meet some of them and are, in the words of public school, “promoted” to the next level. So, about those false expectations and self-doubt . . . the Bible is full of advice and admonishment about following our hearts. I can personally witness to this since the Lord has CONSTANTLY directed me to follow mine. As I have done so, I’ve let go of a lot of sadness and a lot of stress and in the process riled up a lot of people who wondered where the sensible Martha went off to. The sensible Martha who met their expectations seemed to have disappeared. Well, I readily admit, the life I’m living doesn’t fit the expectations of “this world” and thus when I find myself feeling excited, joy filled, and blessed by what I’ve come to know the Lord is directing me toward, the self-doubt comes in. A small voice inside whispers to me that “this can’t be right – you’re not listening” and so I doubt myself. I wonder, just now, is it really myself I’m doubting? Can it be that my trust in Him to lead me is weaker than it should be? Am I doubting myself or Him? The burning desire of my heart – a heart He knows better than I do – was planted there by Him. When I listen to His voice, it is always asking me “what is the desire of your heart” and that voice, His, always urges me to follow my heart. The “self doubts” quickly return as I start to more fully yield to His voice.
My self doubts used to whisper, but I find that the more I yield in the direction the Lord leads, the louder they speak to me – those voices of this world, those doubts. This brings me back to the words of Genesis. You see, the voices of this world always urge me to give up. They remind me of all the skills others have, and all the skills I do not. They are filled with all I “can’t” do, and “don’t” have, and all that “won’t” work, and paint a picture of a failure . . . if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that those voices have spoken to you as well. So what is the answer? I know that nothing gets me “fired up” the way the Lord’s purpose for my life does. I know that even when I, in my weakness, question His direction, when I take the shaky steps where He leads, His grace comes quickly and I am amazed by it! I am not amazing. I don’t have any hope of being amazing. He is amazing. He lives in me. He is my hope. When I cast aside the ill-fitting mold the world and I myself have chosen and surrender instead to the desire of my heart – my authentic and real purpose as a child of the King of Kings, I don’t have to have all the answers, I simply need to know where to look for them – into His eyes. So, again I quote those twelve simple words from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament which said “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” He wasn’t just talking about trees, birds, and stars of night! He also meant you and me!