Have you ever asked yourself the question: What does God want from me? This question was presented to me in my latest read, The Good and Beautiful God by James Smith. So, what does God want from me?
A few years ago I think my answer would have been something like...God wants me to try and be a better Christian...God wants me to pray more...read my Bible more (praying and reading the Bible are good things of course). Yet, I have been learning that’s not really all there is to it! Which is a good thing, because I never could figure out how to “be a better Christian” just by trying harder on my own. My prayer life used to consist of apologizing for being a lame christian, saying I’ll do better tomorrow, and then of course failing the next day. So, repeat prayer, or reading a chapter out of any random book of the Bible just so I could say I got a chapter done --- even if I was bored. That’s it? That can’t be it, right??
Well, thankfully, God has gently showed me that wasn’t it. Smith’s answer to the question, “what does God want from me?” brought tears of joy to my eyes because it rang true in my soul and because I am experiencing it in my current life. Smith says this:
“When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, He answered clearly: love God with all you have. If we could ask Jesus, What does God want from me? I believe He would answer God wants you to know Him, and to love Him…….What if God is not mad at you? What if God responds to us with absolute delight? Regardless of how we look or feel, or what we have done or have not done? The only possible response would be to feel absolute delight in return. If God is delighted with me --- regardless of my performance --- then my immediate response is to feel love in return. And in so doing, I fulfill the greatest commandment...the narrative that God loves us and longs for us to love Him in return provides a genuine and lasting incentive to change.”
I absolutely love how simple it is. Get to know God. For me, it’s been not only about head knowledge and facts, (those things are important, too) but get to know God through experience. That simple shift in thinking has changed my life. Sit with Him. Be still with Him. Give some space in my life that allows me to be present with Him. Participate with Him. “We love Him, because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19. I’ve heard that verse my whole life, but I never really understood it until I began experiencing it for myself!