What Does God Want Most From Us?
I want to thank a brother in the Lord on Facebook for posing a question to his friends similar to this. I responded there but as I did I realized that this is perhaps something we should talk about in more exacting terms. So, Robert, thanks for the topic today!
What does God really want from us?
We can expend enormous amounts of energy and time attempting to determine God’s will for us. I’ve heard many say that they just didn’t know what God wanted them to do. I myself have had the occasion where I felt that God was telling me to prepare for something but didn’t have a clue just what ‘something’ was.
Then too, there is the more general desire to understand our purpose and what gives God the greatest joy in us.
Yes, God takes pleasure in us, His creation!
The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will be quiet in his love.
He will delight in you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (CSB)
I remember when this verse first jumped out at me. I’d have to say that this was a milestone in my personal relationship with God. Prior to that, I understood that God loved me and desired me to love Him. But the relationship of Him being our Heavenly Father didn’t gel as much as the moment I came to the realization that our Daddy God, as with all fathers does get frustrated with His children, but there are also times that He lays back and just rolls with joy and laughter over our behavior. “He will rejoice over you with gladness.” “He will delight in you with singing.”
Yeah, think of it, God getting such joy out of us that He breaks into song as a result. Not the image we typically associate with our Heavenly Father. But in every way, He is exactly that. Our Father who sits on His throne in Heaven shares the attributes of every ‘good good’ father.
I don’t want to get too far off in the weeds, but I thought it helpful if we came at the question in the topic from the standpoint of our relationship with God.
All the members of the Trinity are complex individual persons with a great number of attributes that contrast those personas but God the Fathers is perhaps the most diverse and contrasting of them all.
Knowing what gives God the greatest Joy?
I know I turned the question a little here but “What does God want most from us” can and should be equated with what he finds the greatest joy in us as well. Especially, when we come to an understanding of the ‘why’ He created us in the first place.
Let’s cut to the chase and get right down to the answer then explore what that means to us as individuals and Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was asked this by people looking to trip Him up. In His response, we find our answer.
“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest? ”
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Matthew 22:36-40 (CSB)
It’s all about love.
Simple, straightforward, and unequivocal love.
What we can do the most to bring joy to our Father God, is to love Him. He is most satisfied with us when we love him and He possesses an unquenchable desire to be loved by us.
God wants us to be His Children and He wants to be our Father. He desires that our relationship is one that is filled with unlimited love flowing between both us and Him.
There! We’re done?
Surely you knew I wasn’t going to leave it at just that!
We know this is true because the scripture tells us that He loves us, and Jesus makes it clear that God wants us to love him as well. This drives all other things related to Gods interaction with humanity, and what He directs us to do.
All teaching, all discipline, all correction, all guidance, all judgment flows out of His love and the result of us loving Him back.
For this reason, Jesus made it clear up front that obedience is the first order of business for the Child of God.
“If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
John 14:15 (CSB)
Love equals obedience. Our love for Jesus and God the Father is directly linked to our willingness to be obedient to them.
Have you ever considered why it was so critical that Jesus ‘fulfill the law and the commandments’ that were established His arrival with us?
By doing so, He consolidated all things to Himself that had been prior to that point. Everything God the Father called for, Jesus fulfilled, then Jesus declares if you Love me, obey me!
There are numerous other things that come into play related to the love factor in our relationship with God, so I will not belabor this greatly. However, I would like to focus in on several that are important commands and directions given to us.
Repent – It’s not an option. When we receive a revelation of sin in our lives we are to repent of that sin.
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 (CSB)
Our spiritual growth is a cycle that repeats over and over again. We draw closer to God through His Word, prayers, and submission to His will (obedience). Then we are given revelation by the Holy Spirit that allows us to decern things that we have not seen before, that God intends for us. Next comes the repentance part where we ‘change our minds’ to bring our thinking into God’s thought on the matter in question. Finally, we act on that new found understanding.
This cycle runs again and again. The more we are obedient to the revelation the Holy Spirit imparts to us, the more understanding He reveals to us. We, in turn, demonstrate our love by being obedient and changing our minds and actions in accordance with that guidance.
This coincides with Paul’s comment regarding our transformation through the renewing of our minds.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (CSB)
See what God did there?
How do we know if we are conforming or not? After all, we live in this world and as a result, we need to subsist and interact with the environment around us. What defines conformance to the world? We will find that in the revelation of God’s Word for us.
With that now we go through a transformation of the mind aka the mind is changing to reflect that which God sees as right.
We are in constant transformation between the point of salvation until Jesus takes us home when we will put on the incorruptible bodies that He’s got planned for us.
We love other, we forgive, we strengthen our bond with the other believers, and a myriad of other things as a result of this love.
Another important one is to be His Disciple and make Disciples of others because we love Him.
All flow back to God loving us and us loving God.
What does God want from us most? Our committed love being returned to Him. Ever growing. Ever abiding. Ever demonstrating itself through our obedience.