A Free Report from John & HaroldA Free Report from John & Harold
Learning to be Child-like
Six Ways to Find Your Heart’s Desire
From “Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace”
by John Garfield & Harold Eberle
When a son takes over the family business, he acts much differently than an employee. He takes responsibility. He acts not as a slave, waiting for every order to come from above, but he initiates business. He originates new ideas and ways to advance the business. He engages his energy, passion, and life into all that is set before him. Now it’s not just a job it’s his dream; the desire of his heart.
The Bible uses a number of metaphors to describe our relationship with God. While not discounting any of them, we can observe a progression toward relationship as shown in the diagram below. Each of the terms has a biblical application to our lives. However, God is drawing us to be involved in His family business; drawing us to relate to Him in a much closer way.
God Is Working in Your Desires
In the Old Testament we see God dealing with people by giving His commandments. In response, many tried to live as obedient slaves, trying to bring every action into submission to the list of “Do’s and Don’ts.” But we who live on this side of the New Testament have a clearer revelation of how God wants to work in our lives. God is in us. We are His Temple. We are His hands and feet.
…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13)
God is writing His laws on our hearts. He is giving us His desires.
Your desires are not contrary to God’s desires. Of course, you may have a few fleshly, carnal thoughts and ideas. But if your heart is to please God, then He is molding your desires to match His. If you are walking with Him, then the vast majority of your desires are already the same as His.
Do you want to know what God wants accomplished in this world? Then ask Christians what they want accomplished. Most will tell you that they want blessings for their families, young people excited about God, a church that loves, cares, and nurtures the presence of God, prosperity for their communities, a safe and wholesome environment, and peace throughout the world. God’s desires are not different from your desires. Think about it.
God longs to pour out His heart and make His thoughts known to us (I Cor. 1:10-12). God is looking for relationships in which we share our thoughts with Him and He shares His thoughts with us. We were created for such communion and companionship.
Learning to Play: Remaining Childlike
As we transform from slaves and servants of God to sons, friends, and lovers of God, we experience freedom to be childlike—to play, to dream, to be intuitive and creative. Children love taking their father’s hand and walking with him to places they’ve never been before. Servants and slaves never expect such attention and wouldn’t be comfortable with the experience.
The servant mentality tries to substitute obedience for relationship. This religious mindset tries to please the Lord by offering sacrifices of works they don’t enjoy! God has a simple answer for that approach to the throne: He doesn’t want it. We have nothing to offer God in terms of sacrificial acts that would please Him.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Ps. 51:16-17)
Moving From Sacrificing to Delighting
Servants offer a variety of substitutes for the kind of co-laboring that exists on a “son” level of relationship. Servants feel it’s noble to superimpose God’s will over their own and do what they really don’t want to do. Although that can be a first step in our relationship with God, we can’t live there. We have to find the place of delighting in our relationship with God, in our ministry and our vocation. We may mature by progressing through rebellion, to unwilling submission, to willing obedience, and finally to delight. Whatever way we get there, the Lord wants to share the joy of building the Kingdom with us.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:6-8)
People that “Delight” in the Lord
Let me introduce you to Bill. He’s an avid fisherman and outdoor type who got into a healing ministry after he became a Christian. The Lord has used Bill to pray for people at work, in the healing rooms, and at church during altar calls. Bill doesn’t hate fishing now that he’s saved. But it is likely that if he had to choose between fishing and healing cancer, he would enjoy the victory over cancer much more. It’s a thrill and a delight for Bill to be used by God to see someone healed miraculously. He loves it.
The law of God is in his heart; his feet do not slip. (Ps. 37:31)
I was raised on a ranch and always have enjoyed horses. When I left home, got a job, and got married, it never seemed that we could afford horses. I reasoned that they were something the Lord wanted me to give up. When the kids got to be teenagers, we moved to a home that had enough room for horses. When that happened, I had to adjust my thought process. Now I reasoned that maybe God’s will was wide enough that I could dabble in this one hobby, and He would grant me a waiver on His general will. That was nearly ten years ago and here’s what I’ve finally realized. God delights in blessing His kids, and He specifically gave me this outlet. It’s smack in the middle of His will for me—it probably always was. The horses are a delight and so is God. I feel free to enjoy those horses fully. Because of this blessing, I feel more in touch with myself, with others, and with God.
Moving From Sacrificing to Delighting Give Yourself Permission to be Childlike
Here’s a pathway to spirituality and Christian maturity. Make it your aim to be imaginative, creative, and intuitive—as a child. Here are six steps that will get you started. You graduate when you can embrace your own hearts desire.
1. Laughter – God wants us to learn to laugh again. It will heal your heart and renew your love for God and people. Laughter is medicine for our soul.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Prov. 17:22)
2. Ask and Receive – God connects our joy with learning to receive good gifts from Him. Remember the joy of Christmas as a child? Your spiritual life should play out just as unwrapping those gifts. Jesus explained it to His disciples (and us) in John 16:
“In that day you will no longer ask [erotao – interrogate] me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask [aiteo] in my name. Until now you have not asked [aieto – place a demand] for anything in my name. Ask [aiteo – place a demand] and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:23-24) [Emphasis and Greek words added]
I’ve inserted the Greek words for “ask” in order to make a point. This verse says we no longer need to interrogate God for things. When we ask, we place a demand (in harmony with what the Father is doing), receive an answer, and our joy is complete. Servants pray without knowing for what to ask, and they don’t have any assurance of being heard. Answers are hit and miss at best. The uncertainty is frustrating emotionally and confusing theologically. Servants often protect themselves from failure by ending prayers with the phrase, “…if it be Thy will.” Their prayers sound similar to: “Lord, please…we wish You would…if You could just…please make…we hope You will…if it be Thy will.” The idea of placing a demand on God’s resources is foreign to a servant.
Sons pray from the position of knowing the Father’s business. Their prayer is more a confident request premised on the authority of knowing what the Father is doing. Once we know the mind of Christ for a specific situation, we can speak or prophesy the answer into existence. The result is answered prayer, great victories, and great joy. It’s thrilling to know the heart of God, pray His will with certainty, and see a miraculous answer. John 16:24 ends with the phrase, “place a demand and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
We all ask, “How can we know for sure”. The answer is, “Do you believe you can find God in the desires of your heart.” He’s already been in there rearranging the house if you’re a Christian.
3. Pretend – When children pretend, they really just imagine life as they would like to see it. You can be and do anything you want when you pretend—cowboys, doctors, lawyers, firemen, astronauts. If resources didn’t constrain you, what would you do to fulfill your perfect dream? What’s your pretend scenario? Learn to pay attention to your desires—you’ll find God there. Begin to pray, “Father, I give myself permission to dream about the desires you’ve placed within my heart.” Faith begins with pretending.
4. Play – Now, instead of just pretending, begin to confess and act upon your dream. It will feel like play; what you’ve always wanted to do! If you’re going to be the friend of God, you’ll have to learn to trust Him to give you the desires of your heart. You have to believe that, “created in His image,” means your heart’s desires are godly, and that you have authority to speak them into existence, just the way God does. We’re just doing what we see the Father doing. He spoke the desires of His heart into existence and the universe appeared. You should speak your desires into existence, too.
5. Have a Dream – Give yourself permission to dream about your heart’s desire and then begin to prophesy it into existence.
“‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’” (Acts 2:17-18)
It’s a very simple three-step process:
1. We envision or dream the thing God is putting in our hearts;
2. He pours out His Spirit;
3. We prophesy the dream into existence.
What if it doesn’t happen on our schedule? Should we stop dreaming? No! We probably should dream more and give God even more opportunities to speak into our hearts.
I always dreamed about starting a church. For years I thought it was an expression of my carnal appetite for something I shouldn’t have. But I was wrong; it was God from the very beginning. As a servant, I hadn’t given myself permission to look into the desires of my heart. When I did, I found the will of God. So will you!
Dead religious activity—the kind that depresses God—involves doing what you believe in your mind that God wants you to do, against your own will or desires. A real relationship with God finds God right in the middle of your heart’s desires and your mind. Why? Because God created us to both do and to desire His perfect will.
Please don’t be afraid of the Holy Spirit’s activity in your heart. Give yourself permission to laugh, to pretend, to play, and to live out your dreams. That’s where God is.
You can pray this way:
“Lord, we trust that You really did create us as a package of perfect abilities and desires to completely fulfill Your plan for our lives and the desires of our hearts. Thank You Lord, that You’ve invited us into this level of friendship. It’s fun.”
6. God has a question for you
At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you? 1 Kings 3:5 NKJV
Here is the crux of facing the desires of your heart in the cold hard light of how much your heavenly Father loves you. Can you believe God to ask Him for the desires of your heart? Solomon was not an isolated case. The verse above is not taken out of context – It’s a theme throughout the Bible… and our lives.
Ask. You will find God in the desire of your heart. You will also find your life. Kings are willing to ask for the desires of their hearts. Servants never trust their hearts (or God) enough to ask and they live out their lives working for someone else’s dream.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Find out more about how to tear down the strongholds that keep you chained to a poverty mentality and how to use your gifts to serve God in the marketplace in my book “Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace” available at:
- Releasing Kings shows how you can be part of the next global revival that is beginning in the marketplace
- The marketplace is an exciting new frontier for those called to ministry and evangelism…and business
- You will begin to understand the new global perspective that is enabling enterprising business leaders to impact generations by passing their financial and spiritual heritages on to others.
- Releasing Kings will help you understand your eagerness to pursue bold, creative and competitive ministry goals. You’ll connect with the desires of your heart in a practical way.
- You will discover new opportunities that are opening for mentoring others and sharing the secrets and benefits of Christ centered business.
- Learn how to discover PASSION for your CAREER. You’ll connect your vocation, ministry, and your life purpose for the very first time.
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace at