Prov. 4:23, “Above all you guard, protect your heart, For, from it, life derives.”
Our life and subsequent ministry flow from our hearts. It is very difficult to differentiate what is a desire of our own heart or God’s. This is especially true in ministry when the goal is to glorify God and make Him known. Have you ever launched out in a ministry endeavor, only to find God was not the initiator? I have. Many great ideas were Zach’s, not God’s. Spurgeon made a statement in Morning and Evening that I must paraphrase here because I am in an airplane and don’t have access to my copy. He says anything in our hearts that is from human ambition must be recognized and stopped. Wow, what a statement! I am not sure if you agree with this thought, but we are people of great ambition. After all, we multiply disciples, leaders and churches for His glory! However, if our particular ambitions are from us and not God, we can find ourselves in big trouble! Fried, burnout church planters are everywhere. Finding God’s will for each moment, and living in it, gives us the rest we need (Matt. 11).
The key to differentiating between our ideas and God’s is a patient waiting for His clarity (Is. 40:31). I think Psalm 37 helps too. We know that when we delight in God, he puts desires in our hearts (Ps. 37:4). However, we find that when we commit our desires to him, we can watch what He brings to pass (37:5). When He works, we can identify His hand (although that can be tough to do too), and jump on board.
I know these things are difficult, but let’s put the hard work into finding his will for each moment… the alternative is hazardous for our well-being, our families and our churches.
Translation by: Longman III, Tremper (2006-06-01). Proverbs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) (p. 154). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.