Someone once asked me what I would be doing if I had not become a preacher. I told them I’d be much worse off, maybe even in jail. The fact is, when you have to choose between doing God’s will and doing something you want to do, God’s will is the only way to go.

I have told the people at my church about the desire I had to get involved in politics as a young man. The amazing thing is that once I chose to serve God in full-time ministry, He gave me the desires of my heart. No, I didn’t become a politician; but I have been able to meet and influence many politicians over the years. There are several congressmen, senators, governors, and even a US President (George W. Bush) I have met and befriended. Our church also has a pastor who works among politicians as a family-rights lobbyist at our state capitol. I didn’t expect any of this when I started in ministry; but when my wife and I chose to follow God’s will and put Him first, He gave us many of the secondary things we wanted.

I believe the desires and ambitions in our hearts come from God. They are unique to us. When we choose to put God first above these desires, He doesn’t just throw them away. As He did in my life, He may allow us to fulfill them through our respective ministries. That’s why you should never let anyone tell you that you’ll miss out by serving the Lord — missing out is really putting anything else above God. Being in God’s will is the happiest, most fulfilling, and most blessed life you could ever have.

What are the desires of your heart? Do you like to travel? Do you enjoy sports, music, politics, or teaching? God’s plan for your life may involve doing these things. Just choose to follow Him and put Him first, and let Him take care of the rest. He has promised to give you the desires of your heart when you delight in Him.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder