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What Does God Want Anyway?

What does God want from us? I think what God wants more than anything is for us just to be real. As a new Christian I wanted to be perfect just like all the people who were in my little group of friends. They had everything I wanted in life: strong spirituality, a calm demeanor, real friends, an active social life, etc. The problem: I soon discovered that they weren’t perfect! In fact, from that point forward my mantra when talking to people about problems in interpersonal relationships was, “People will always disappoint you.” This certainly seemed easier than sitting with people and helping them through their pain and hurt. If you were one of those people that are reading this right now, please allow me this opportunity to apologize and ask your forgiveness. See, I thought this was a good answer at the time and while it is true it is way too superficial. God wants us to have authentic relationships. I sometimes don’t know what to say and you know what – that’s what I should say – and so should you.

The next thing I did was find an accountability partner. Now, accountability partners are good but we have to be honest with them. My accountability partner’s name was Chris. Chris is a great guy but we have somehow lost contact with one another. He married Debbie and they started having babies while attending Cincinnati Bible College (it has a new name but I think this was the name at the time, the name isn’t the point). Chris and I met every Saturday morning at a park in Louisville and we talked about our struggles and it was great but I have to admit I wasn’t very honest with Chris. I still had thoughts and sin that I should have shared and asked his help but I was afraid of rejection. Even today my mind drifts to thoughts that I should not be having. God knows it and I think this is one of those areas where God really wants to heal me. But I can’t be real unless I’m authentic. In God’s word there is this wonderful story in 1 Kings 3 where Solomon (the third king of Israel) goes up to a mountain and asks God for wisdom. God is so pleased that Solomon didn’t ask for riches and peace that He gives all the good stuff to Solomon anyway. The problem isn’t that Solomon asked for wisdom. The problem is Solomon had committed two sins: 1) He married this Egyptian princess (and Isaiah clearly talks about forming allegiances with anyone but God a sin, Isaiah 30) and, 2) Solomon made his sacrifice on the altar of an idol on a high place (see Numbers 33:52). But what does God do – He gives Solomon what he wants and a huge bonus. Larry Osborne in his book, A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God, talks about this subject at great length. He calls this a blind spot. In other words Solomon wasn’t aware that this was a sin and as a result God blessed him because his heart was pure. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8, TNIV) I don’t know if Solomon knew these were sins or not but his own words were, “But I am a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.” (1 Kings 3:7b) He was just being real with God and it pleased God so much that He gave Solomon everything he asked for and everything he didn’t.

So, how then are we to live? What does God want anyway? God wants us to act justly (do what is right), love mercy (right behavior should compel us to help others), and to walk humbly with God (remain responsive to God). (Micah 6:8) As much as this God just wants us to be real with Him and real with people.

Creed Branson, NL Executive Minister

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