I’ve shared a struggle I’m experiencing with both family and leaders. Most seem to identify and resonate with it.

I want to be content and satisfied with what God is doing—with the opportunities He allows to come my way. I want to be okay if little comes my way.

At the same time, I have desires, dreams and aspirations about what I’d like to be doing and what I’d like to see happen—ideas I’d like to see come to fruition. But if they don’t, can I still be satisfied in Him, okay with what He sends or doesn’t send? 

Is my identify, value and sense of worth centered in what I do and how much I accomplish or is the totality of who I am centered in Him? 

I want to be okay either way; if little of what I’m desiring or much or all of what I’m desiring happens. 

A verse in The Message which I’ve camped on for a good period of time is Luke 14:33 where Jesus says: 

“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple.”

I couple this with with Matthew 20:15 ESV:

“Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me…?” 

The answer is, of course You do. I belong to You. You are Lord over my life. Lord over the work You allow me to do. Lord over everything. You, most certainly, have the right to do with me as You wish. And I can trust You in this because You are good and always want the best for me.

So, as I pray about ideas, plans, desires and hopes, I lay these out before Him, telling Him honestly that I would love to do this or that, see this or that happen; but, at the same time, I tell Him that I’m willing to kiss any and all of my ideas, plans and dreams good-bye if He decides not to allow them to happen. 

It’s a good place to be in.  Knowing that He is sovereign, that He is the “Blessed Controller” of all things (1 Timothy 6:15 in the Phillips translation). 

Otherwise, I can wind up living in perpetual discontent, frustration, even anger, toward God for not giving me what I’ve asked.

It’s not always easy or fun, but it’s good for my soul and my walk with Him. 

So I pray and worship and tell Him all my heart, all my dreams, all my desires and say that I am ready and willing to step in, but also willing to kiss it all good-bye if that would honor Him more.

I don’t want contentment to deteriorate into complacency or laziness, nor do I want ambition to deteriorate into pushing and demanding things from God while  I’m trying to get my own way.

One more verse from The Message about the rich, young ruler and I’m through with this idea:

“That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so crest fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.” 

—Matthew 19:22

I don’t want to hang tight to anything but Him. Everything else I need to, and want to, hold with an open hand.

Lord Jesus, help me walk the fine line between contentment and ambition. By your grace, help me dream big dreams and bring them to You in quiet confidence. At the same time, let me allow You to be Lord over it all and not be ambitious in ways which push You out, don’t trust Your wisdom and demand my own way.