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Ann and I had the opportunity to sit down with John Eldredge for a marriage counseling session recently. For those who don’t know, John is a brilliant writer who has written a number of books that have helped lots of people come closer to God and live from their whole hearts. Ever since I met John while living in Colorado in 2002 he has helped me find healing from my wounds and has been a part of shaping who I am today. I can’t say enough good things about John. However, I don’t want this to be about John, but instead about the advice he gave to us.
After spending an hour and a half with John we walked away with two concepts.
1.) Walk with God. He encouraged us to practice listening to Jesus about our specific direction in life. The two of us could do so many different things with our lives. Right now we own an online t-shirt company, a design company, a pro-life non-profit, and an online precious metals company, all of which are successful and are creating positive cash-flow. The problem is that we don’t care about being rich, we care about bonding together in pursuit of the call of God. We want our lives to matter. As we shared each of the different options and ideas, John continually directed us back and answered our questions with, “Listen and follow Jesus.” We needed to hear that. Later that night we spent an hour just listening to Jesus on a walk by ourselves in The Garden of the Gods (a tall wild rock formation) which is near his office. I admit that at first is was weird and a little awkward to listen for God’s voice, but the truth is God does speak.
2.) Listen to desire. He told us to ask our hearts what we would love to do, without asking the question “How?”. How is always a faithless question. Asking how often destroys our ability to desire. God made our hearts each unique, to desire certain things. He crafted us to fit in the place that he wants us. True living is when we are living out the very purpose that we were made for. Who cares about anything else if you’re living the life that you were meant to live? John went on to say “Desire reveals design and design reveals destiny.” In other words God made your heart to desire certain things, and doing those things will fulfill your destiny. The two of us sure have a lot of desires, and God will unpack them in different seasons but for now we must carefully listen as a couple.
How do we balance a life of go go go and do do do with quiet listening and intentional time walking with God? Even though we are pursuing our desires we rarely find time to even just listen to our hearts to know what we are made for. His advice is what we needed. If we are ever going to find the life that we were made for we must find time to listen, and we must find time to pray.