There are certain longings placed in the hearts of God’s people that do not fade with time. Dreams and desires planted deeply in secure places, guarded by Sovereign hands. For years God may direct us otherwise. Where He leads may seem so contrary to where those desires would carry us. Perhaps, in these moments, holds a great testing for the motives of our hearts. We are not to be led solely by our longings, but by the voice of our Shepherd. We listen to His call and we embrace the mission for the day. It is easy to neglect His leading when it seems to contradict our hopes for the future. Neglecting the Holy Spirit’s leading, however contrary it may seem to the deep-seeded desire within us, is evidence of idolatry.
Our longings to do a great work for God must be in proportion to our great love for God. Paul wanted so badly to go to Rome but found himself hindered over and over because of a greater purpose, a more urgent burden, placed on him. He had to fulfill the ministry of the gospel of Christ, preaching the gospel where Christ was not named (Romans 15:19-20). Paul’s priorities were his Lord’s priorities, whatever the cost.
Yet, I do believe God preserves holy dreams in the lives the saints. Eventually, Paul was able to make it to Rome, encouaraging the church while enjoying their company (Romans 15:24, Acts 28:30-31), after many years of daily choosing the better portion. I am sure his arrival looked nothing like he thought it would, nor under the circumstances he dreamed of (that’s a subject for another time), yet the heart of his longing was fulfilled. Getting to exalt the name of Jesus was the heartbeat of this hope of going to Rome, and that Paul did.
There is a way to let dreams exist in our heart without them draining the energy to serve God in what He has called us to in the here and now. The longings that are holy, which He intends to put to use, He will preserve in our hearts. That we can trust. But today, let us love our Lord more than our dreams and fulfill the work God has given to us in the present. Any dream that does not come to pass, we can gladly embrace the perfect providence of God and trust there is a good purpose in every unfulfilled desire we possess. Let us love our Savior’s voice more than our preferences and let us follow in the loving-steps of the Author of every day…especially those days we long for the most.
- To understand Paul’s journey to Rome, Read Acts 28.