…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
I drove down the road yesterday with my daughter in tow thinking about my sons and their latest laundry lists of “what I’ll be when I grow up.” They really amuse me with those because 1) I was certain I would be a doctor from the age of six and 2) their lists are long and ever-changing! Although, to be fair, some things on their lists have stayed consistent!
Anyway, as I drove I thought about their interests and abilities. I wondered what their “thing” is in life and hoped I wouldn’t overlook it since one of the joys of parenting is encouraging the development of their giftings. Instantly the Holy Spirit recalled Philippians 2:13 to me verbatim. I knew what the He was getting at regarding my children but the verse he used caught me off guard because I had only thought of it in terms of God’s grace to overcome fleshly desires and habits.
This time He used the verse as a rhema word encouraging me that God works into my children (as all His children) the desires along with the abilities to do the very things He created them to do. Their purpose not only brings Him pleasure but them as well. The word translated will is the Greek word thelo meaning to like doing or to take pleasure in and the word translated do is the Greek word energeo with the idea of power or ability. God is equipping them with everything they need to do whatever He created them to do and they’re going to love it!
It reminded me of an old commercial. Anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy pasta. In fact, it was the first thing I learned to cook as a child. Anyone who really knows me knows my favorite jarred sauce is Prego. Back in the day Prego had a commercial where one man worried if the other put all the ingredients into the sauce. Each time, with more and more exasperation, the cook answered, “It’s in there!” Thankfully the Holy Spirit didn’t shout at me when He told me the same thing about my children!
I don’t need to worry about figuring out what my children are meant to do in life; it’s in them! The key is listening to what they say. They’ll say what’s in their heart (Luke 6:45) and inevitably, some things will be consistent and others will be passing whims. Secondly, I don’t even need to worry about sifting through the expansive list of things they “want to be when they grow up”. Not everything they desire to do is something God has equipped them to do. God gives the desire and ability as a package deal. Either they have it or they don’t, time will tell. When it does, we’ll know where best to encourage them with our time and resources.
Funny enough, one of my sons just told me he’s going to be a doctor, yet he’s repulsed by other people’s vomit and blood and exaggerates the slightest personal injury. I won’t need to break it to him that he’s not meant to be a doctor. It’ll sort itself off the list soon enough when he realizes he’s not wired for it!
© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.