Question: “What does God want from me?”

Question: “What does God want from  me?”

Answer: The people in the prophet Micah’s day complained  that God was never satisfied. They snidely asked, “Will the Lord be pleased with  thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?” (Micah 6:7). It was their way of asking, “What does God  want from us, anyway?” Some people today feel like all their striving to  please God goes for nothing, and they, too, ask, “What does God want from  me?”

Jesus was asked once which commandment of the Law was the greatest.  He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul  and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love  your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark  12:30–32; cf. Matthew  22:37–39). What God wants is really quite simple: He wants us. All our  service for God must flow from those two commands to love, or it is not real  service; it is fleshly effort. And Romans 8:8 says that those who are “in the flesh cannot please God.”

First, God  wants us to trust in His Son as Savior and Lord (Philippians 2:9–11). Second  Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wanting anyone to  perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” We come to know Jesus through  repenting of our sin and accepting Him as our personal sacrifice (Romans 10:9; John 1:12).  When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to show them the Father, He replied, “Anyone who  has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).  God wants us to know Him, and we can only know Him through Jesus.

Next,  God wants us to “become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). The Father wants all of His children to be  like Jesus. He brings situations into our lives to refine us and chip away those  flawed characteristics that are in the way of our becoming who He designed us to  be (Hebrews  12:7; James 1:12).  As Jesus was obedient to the Father in everything, so the goal of every child of  God should be to obey our Heavenly Father (John 8:29). First  Peter 1:14–15 says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil  desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is  holy, so be holy in all you do.”

Many people, like the Pharisees in  Jesus’ day, try to put the external action before the inner heart change (Luke 11:42). They place all  the focus on what they do rather than who they are. But, unless  love for God is our motivation, outward displays of goodness only result in  pride and legalism. Neither pleases God. When we surrender ourselves totally to  Him, His Holy Spirit empowers us to love God fully and serve Him from the right  motive. True service and holiness are simply the outworking of the Spirit, the  overflowing of a life dedicated to the glory of God. When our focus is on  loving God rather than simply serving Him, we end up doing both.  If we skip the relationship, our service is of no use and benefits nothing (1  Corinthians 13:1–2).

The prophet Micah responded to the Israelites’  complaint that they didn’t know what God wanted from them. The prophet says, “He  has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to  do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV). God’s desire for us is very simple.  People complicate things, tacking on rules and man-made laws that ensure  frustration and kill the joy in following Christ (2  Corinthians 3:6). God wants us to love Him with all our hearts and let our  obedience stem from a heartfelt desire to be pleasing in His sight.

David understood what God wanted when he prayed, “You do not delight in  sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My  sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will  not despise” (Psalm  51:16–17).

Recommended Resources: Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot by Max  Lucado and Logos Bible Software.

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