We hear verses like “avoid selfish ambition” and we translate that to mean that pursuing anything we actually enjoy is selfish. Obviously we all must check our hearts and make sure our ultimate goal is to glorify God and not simply please ourselves, but there is a misconception in the church. It’s the thought that God cares more about using you than…well…YOU. This is absolutely false.
I heard a worship pastor bring up the analogy of a father with his children. How strange it would be for his kids to come running into the room to see him, only to hear him say “Oh I’m so glad you’ve finally come…now I can use you.” Absurd! Yet this is how we picture God. We think once we offer our lives to Him He main concern is putting us to work! We forget about the parts of the Bible that talk about how wonderfully we were crafted, that we’re made in the image of God, all the times He says “come to me” and “I will bless you”, and that we are to be faithful with what He has given us. And He has given us our talents and good desires! I’m not saying there wont be seasons in life where He asks us to forgo our desires for a time. Many of us go through times of life where all is stripped away so we become completely aware that our only true need is Him. But He’s the one who crafted us, therefore He delights when we delight in how He has made us.
We were created primarily to BE LOVED and to LOVE GOD. When we realize the beautiful things He formed inside of us and then- out of gratitude- turn around and use them to love others and love Him back, we’ll see the smile of a proud and loving Father.