What He Wants For Us
Much of my life I spent wondering what God wants from me. Asking what He wants for me is a refreshing change in perspective that I want to explore. The longer I know Him and study the Bible, the more I'm convinced that, like a good Father, He longs to bless us and take care of us.
When you think of God, do you think about all He wants from you? The Bible asks for our service, our obedience, to give money, to love everyone, serve the poor, be humble, don't get drunk, don't steal, don't covet what your friends have, don't work on the Sabbath, don't commit adultery, defend the fatherless, respect your leaders, don't lie, don't take His name in vain, rejoice all the time, go and make disciples, confess our sins, pray without ceasing, have faith, forgive everyone, bless our enemies, turn the other cheek, be joyful when we're persecuted. I'm exhausted just thinking about how impossible and miserable it could be if I believed that God's love for me depended on earning his favor. It would make me want to avoid religion. I think that there is a better way.
Our attitude toward a lesson depends on our relationship with the Teacher.
For example, consider the idea: "Worship the Lord." To many people I know, this command seems ridiculous and even offensive. Worship might be the last thing on our mind when we are hurting and He has not answered our prayers in the way that we wanted. We are not sure He can be trusted if he exists. What if God is a self centered narcissist... always craving more affection and worship from us to fill His insatiable appetite to be adored? What if He doesn't care whether we have fun and enjoyable lives? Or, what if He watches our suffering from above and does nothing to prevent it? When I don't understand how much He loves me, I will not have the heartfelt motivation to worship Him.
On the flip side, when I delight in God's goodness and loving kindness it changes my perspective. Maybe not even money, beauty, fame, popularity or human relationships can fully satisfy and save us. I miss out by withholding my worship, which is what I am created to enjoy. We can look past our present suffering to focus on eternal life as we commune with the One who made us and longs for a relationship with us. We celebrate that our God is a God who saves and who loves our friends and family more than we do. Jesus died to give us all eternal life. If there was another less costly way, Jesus would have chosen it. Worship takes our mind off of our problems and places our focus on a powerful Savior who is crazy about us!
What do we believe? Who should we listen to? What does the evidence suggest?
So much depends on whether we believe God is good.
I have concluded that God is good. I've spent my whole life pondering this question of His goodness and I'm sold out. I'm going down banking on this belief. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I don't think so, but whatever. Why should you trust me? I am just a person who has made a lot of mistakes. I haven't gone to Christian college, I'm not a pastor, and we don't know each other.
If you choose not to enter into a trusting relationship with Jesus and you're wrong, what you have to lose? That is the question that motivates me to write even though I'm way out of my comfort zone.
In the words of Andy Stanley,
"If a man can predict his own death and resurrection, and pull it off, I just go with whatever that man says."
My reasoning is this: if Jesus was willing to shed His own blood to save me and had the power to not stay dead to make sure I could join the family of God, He has my best interests at heart and is worthy of my trust. If He says we need to be saved, I believe Him. Who in my life has done more to demonstrate their love? Who else do I have who not only created me but knows my pain, my thoughts, my future? Who else has given their life for me, intercedes at God's right hand night and day, and has the power to speak the universe into existence? What other world leader or influencer in history has been seen alive by hundreds of eyewitnesses after their death?
Who loves you more than Jesus?
Everything God wants us to do, believe, or think is to benefit US!!! As our Creator, God knows better than anyone what will make us safe, healthy, and happy. That starts with a relationship with Him.
God has so much for you that He wants to give you!!! He doesn't need anything from you. You don't have to feel it for it to be true.
I love you. Jesus loves you more.