It’s easy to let the dream of marriage climb the ladder of what’s most important to you. It then becomes your dream, your desires first. However, God has already given you your first priority: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness… (Matthew 6:33). First doesn’t mean when it’s convenient to you or when it lines up with your desires. Anything in life, including a dream, becomes an idol when it takes priority over God. God stops being your God. Your energies and passions switch to focus on you rather on God’s will and desire for your life. When that happens, you need to hand your dreams over to Him.
I love the story of Hannah from the Bible (I Samuel 1). She had a great desire that seemed so elusive. While everyone around her enjoyed a house full of children, Hannah sat on the sidelines in shame. A woman without children was treated like an outcast, yet she took her desire to God and laid it at His feet. Before she ever saw a child in her arms, she handed the dream over to God, promising that He would have her son for His service.
Like Hannah, you need to be willing to give your greatest desires over to God before you even see them happen. Whether you see the desire fulfilled or not, God needs to know that you’re seeking Him and not your own personal agenda. That’s what acknowledging God as Lord really means. When you say that Jesus is the Lord of your life, it means that He is owner and boss of every dream you hold.
My friend Andrea was faced with the “waiting” season as she wondered if the desire for marriage would ever happen. She struggled with the uncertainties about how her dream would work out, fighting nights of tears and anxiety. Finally, the time of reckoning came. Was she going to wallow in this frustration, or was she going to commit her desire to God and receive the peace He always wanted her to have? Andrea chose to commit. In the process of giving her desires to God, she penned this poem:
Thy Will Be Done
© 1999 by Andrea Wright
I lay it down, Lord, once again –
My hopes, dreams, and desires for him.
I cannot gain what I will not lose,
And I do not want what You do not choose.
I give him up, time and again;
My joy is complete without him.
Broken and contrite, You’ll not deny,
I belong to You first, Adonai.
You hold all the world in the palm of Your hand;
Yet you still know me and my love for this man.
I lay him down on the altar of my desire,
Knowing that purity comes only by Your fire.
One day I’ll hear You say, “Child, this is the one.”
Until then, grant strength to say, “Thy – not my – will be done.”
Handing your dream over to God means dying to your desires and saying, “Thy will, not my will, be done” (Luke 22:42). Though we’d all prefer to say those words without pain, our flesh doesn’t give up so easily. It hurts! Your mind and body scream as if you couldn’t survive without what you wanted most. The reality is that you should accept that without saying goodbye to your life’s greatest desires, you will never see them again.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:24 – 25).
We’ll never reach a time in our Christian lives when we don’t have to “deny” ourselves of something we want so badly. Sometimes it may be something as small as refusing that second piece of cheesecake. Or it may be rejecting temptations to sin against our new born-again nature. Other times it’s simply giving up something to allow God’s perfect will to be done in our lives. All are painful, but they all come with great rewards.
If God asks you to wait on a dream for a season, He will always give it back to you. Like the multiplication of a seed when it is planted, He’ll return your dream with multiplied value. That return will be greater than anything “you could ever ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). He wants His will to be your will so that He can fill your life with His goodness—His perfect goodness. That reward will be all—and more—than you ever wanted!