Fully Alive

Jesus told us that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4)

This can seem like a promise that is far off sometimes, especially when we are delighting ourselves in Him and aren't necessarily seeing the desires of our heart coming to fruition immediately, or even over the course of years.

What I have come to realize, after many, many years of following God is that sometimes delighting ourselves in Him is the promise. His presence, being the return for seeking His face, is the actual fundamental desire of our heart.
It's important to understand, that as a human being, you were created by God and to know Him. Solomon in Ecclesiastes describes that God has put the hope of eternity in every man's heart. David describes in one of the Psalms that He is convinced that you will see that goodness of God in the land of the living.

So while you were created by God and to know Him, hoping for His perfect Kingdom, you were also created to enjoy His goodness in this world—right now. Heaven isn't as distant as you sometimes think when you realize this. In fact, Heaven is so close. Sometimes, you just can't see it or Him, because you are focused on the deepest desires of your heart to be fulfilled; desires that are good (or some not so good). These desires can manifest in multiple ways. They can look like wanting to get to know that special someone. Or, dreams of stepping into a calling or a deep purpose for love in the Kingdom of God. It can look like wanting to create legacy in the world with a creative idea or it could look like desiring to create legacy through family with a husband or wife— or even to be a mother or a father. It can even look like desiring to move to a place where you believe you are supposed to settle and create a culture of goodness, compassion, and beauty within the culture that currently resides.
As God’s creation, there is a desire and a need for this kind of love, purpose, community, belonging, legacy, and forward movement in life. In fact, pursuing all of these beautiful aspects of life are a part of God’s plan for Him to accomplish all that He desires in our land. These are all wishes and desires of our spirits that actually need to be fulfilled, but when they become the focus and motivation for a secured identity, then we can dangerously become out of balanced and take matters into our own hands to pursue our own end goals and live a victim to the dreams/desires that aren’t fulfilled in our own timing. The end goal should always be simply knowing and having deep, un-shattered communion with God.

It’s also important to note that you aren't living in the Kingdom of God while in the world, so you will naturally always be desiring that perfection, peace, and joy. It won't escape you, because that state—the eternal Kingdom— is what you were made for; it's where you began and where you will end if you know Him.

That doesn't mean, though, that you can't experience a full and lively life and you will never get anything that you desire deep within your spirit. That is actually unbiblical. The Lord desires to bless us, but that is not absent from hardship, trial, and testing.

In my past years, (which are encompassed of several years of believing in Him, seasons of rebellion, coming back to Him, trying to love Him through all of my walls,  and then spending time in seasons of healing/waiting) I did not necessarily delight myself in the journey of simply knowing Him. I was always waiting for the next big event to take place in my life, so I could have a fresh start and find a new sense of purpose. I also sometimes would live powerless to the mistakes I made in my past and would subconsciously blame other people for my own actions, living powerless to the circumstances and consequences that my life was entangled in at the time.
I will be honest and communicate that there were portions of my life where I experienced a series of traumatic circumstances that would inevitably shape me for the rest of my life. The desires of my heart naturally came from wanting to see specific things in my life healed or changed within those isolated circumstances. I have just learned in recent months, honestly, how to not live powerless to those traumatic experiences instead of wishing them away or wanting to speed up the healing and trust process with God. I have also learned how to own and accept my own plethora of mistakes that happened as a result of victim mentality that I lived in for the majority of my life.

The perpetual rebellion and mistrust in God's goodness manifested in several different ways over the course of time—mostly because I wasn't getting the desires of my heart. It would happen in extremes with my decision making, especially my high school years and early years in college. It would also happen more covertly through simple choices I was making with my thought life which continued way, way after my early years in college.
Thank God the Lord gives grace. He scooped me up and showed me that He can resurrect anything after simply returning to the presence that I have always known and giving Him my, "yes."

Living life now, I have come to know that Jesus died, so that I could live. My thought life is more powerful and I don't settle because I know my God didn't settle. As far as looking into my past,  I had to come to understand that my views of God were so misaligned. I used to think as a kid that God must not like me because of everything I had been through when I was a young child. Punishment and self destruction felt like a norm because my lack of self worth. I projected those characteristics on Him. I didn't have a true, authentic value for life, and I would always choose less than what the Lord desired for my life.
I had to realize that what had taken place in those early years wasn't God and He was weeping next to me—not angry, not scared, not disappointed. He just wanted everything that I had inside of me and to trust that He was going to be redeemer for the rest of my life. It took actual trust to let Him touch the places of my life that were hidden and felt like a ton of weights.
He said, "I give you life to the fullest." He also said "there will be trouble in this world, but fear not because I have overcome the world."

Yes, I have had a lot of trouble. I have also caused myself a lot of trouble. But now I see that I can choose resurrection instead of living powerless to my circumstance, thinking God did this to me. Instead, I now understand that because He is inside of me, He can resurrect any dead thing that has or still is plaguing my life. That is life in power. So, most days I choose power. I choose resurrection and I know that this choice costs much. He is the only way.
And while His way is the most joyful, the most fruitful, filled with the most treasure, and has been the most adventurous and fun choice I have ever made; I know that there will be trouble. 
There will be crushing, testing, abiding that will produce love, humility, righteousness, discernment, wisdom, and compassion. There will be disappointment and tragedy, loss and sometimes confusion and doubt. I am not blind to those potentials in life. I am learning, actually, how to count them as joy because of what they produce in my life; unwavering and true hope. So in the next trials of life, I have a more glorious perspective. I know that I can always walk through fire and still enjoy God, even if He doesn't give me the desires of my heart right away. As long as He meets me with His presence and His presence resides inside of me, I know that everything will be okay and I will never come to actual death.
That is life in power and a life fully alive.

Author  |  Emily Helton





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