“The voice we should listen to the most as we choose a vocation is the voice that we might think we should listen to the least, and that is the voice of our own gladness.”- Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC (1995)
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”- Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
Mark Batterson continues Chapter 6 of Whisper as he connects desires and talents. When your desires line up with your talents, Mark stresses, you’re doubly dangerous to Satan. Yet, God also calls us to accomplish things outside of our skill sets. That requires tremendous dependence upon God’s help.
Most noteworthy, Pastor Batterson observes, Jesus revealed an inviolable supernatural sequence in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Mark believes many people read Jesus’ statement backward. As a result, they seek God only after acquiring everything that the world has to offer.
However, the author cautions, you can’t place God second, third, or tenth and expect Him to give you the desires of your heart. Therefore, seeking God first is:
- delighting yourself in the Lord
- giving Him the first word and the last word
- making sure His voice is the loudest voice in your life
Yes, taking up your cross involves sacrifice. As you delight yourself in the Lord, though, God gives you the desire to fulfill His calling. No matter how difficult the task.
In conclusion, Mark states, another factor adding to task difficulty occurs when we “sacrifice our desires on the altar of other people’s expectations.” It’s hard to feel the joy of the Lord when we’re listening to the wrong voices. For if we give those voices our ear, we’ll conform to the pattern of the world around us. Thus, we’re best served listening to the voice of our own gladness.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you listen to the voice of your own gladness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The sweet spot – where gifts and desires overlap”