That was the topic of a blog I read today.
Do you live for yourself and give God credit as an afterthought?
Or are you willing to serve even if that means sacrificing everything you think you want.
I don't believe God wants anyone to be miserable. And I know God can instill in people a vision for something great, or even their dreams and ambitions.
But in our culture, I think we get carried away and take it too far--creating a vending machine God. "This is what I want for my life and God loves me so he'll give it to me." It's a common attitude. What ever happened to "Here am I Lord, what will you have me do?"
I think of most major music artists. Ya know, the radio rappers and pop stars that get up at the Grammys and thank God for their awards. I don't claim to know their hearts, but I always cringe when they bring God into it. Most of them are clearly living the most ungodly life possible. They live their lives out for themselves and at the end of the day (or at least in public) they are nice enough to give God a shout out. Awesome.
I have friends who've played sports and gotten injured and been angry at God for taking away their dream. I have friends who really just want fame but disguise it as ministry. I'm not saying that God doesn't fulfill dreams. But what if that's your plan for your life and God has something totally different in mind? Will you be angry when you don't get what you want and turn your back on him? If God said to you...I need you to sell everything you have and serve among the poor...would you be able to do it? Usually I get "God would never ask me to do that." Oh yeah? Have you read the Bible lately?
If God has given you gifts to use for him, use them. But don't use dreams and positivity as an excuse to live for yourself and call it living for God. Be willing to serve no matter what. If that is truly the desire of your heart you will find joy and fulfillment in serving God no matter how lofty or lowly your social status is.
I've always struggled with this. I know there's a great debate between the prosperity gospel camp and the purpose driven life camp. I've been absorbed in both kinds of churches and Christians at various times. But find some balance. There is truth in both. You can be a selfish martyr just as much as a selfish ambitionist. But don't let your martyrdom or your ambition blind you from God's true plan for your life. We're selfish by nature. No matter what perspective you come from...we're selfish. And few people ever really get around to acknowledging that.
Be a willing servant.