In the post "What Does GOD Want from Me?," I explained that GOD wants three basic things from each person:
- GOD wants us to know Him.
- GOD wants us to love Him.
- GOD wants us to become like Him.
Today, I want to dig a little deeper into these three things.
Knowing GOD is a life-long journey—a process.
We never arrive at a full knowledge of GOD (in this life), therefore the goal is to know Him more closely.
We must take baby steps.
When we see GOD as He is—that is, when we see His nature and character—it causes us to love Him more deeply.
When we learn that His will for us is to surrender control of our will to His, we learn that He wants to make us like Him in our thinking and in our choices. This changes us to become more like Him.
All of this, at its core, is a life-long pursuit of GOD.
But for the Christian, what actions do we need to take to accomplish our quest of pursuing GOD?
In other words, now that we've become a Christian, what does GOD want us to do?
While GOD doesn't want us to develop a "checklist mentality," here is a list of fourteen things that Scripture says GOD wants from Christians in our pursuit of those 3 fundamental desires He has for us.
- Pray often (1 Thess. 5:17). Talk with GOD throughout your day.
- Allow Him to teach you by reading the Scriptures. This builds faith (Rom. 10:17). This is the most frequent manner in which GOD reveals Himself to us today.
- Be filled with the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-26; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19), who is given to all who obey Jesus (Acts 5:32).
- Love GOD with your entire being—heart, mind, soul, strength—and above all other relationships (Mark 12:28-31; Matt. 10:34-39).
- Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). This encompasses other specific instructions, such as giving to others (Eph. 4:28; Jam. 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17-18) and visiting and caring for the needy (Jam. 1:27; Matt. 25:34-36).
- Give thanks (Eph. 5:20; 1 Thess. 5:18). Christians should live each day with thankful hearts (Col. 3:17).
- Grow (1 Pet. 2:1-3; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; 3:18; Heb. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 3:1-4).
- Live a holy life (1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rom. 6:1-2).
- Confess your sins to GOD (1 John 1:9) and to each other (Jam. 5:16).
- Forgive others who sin against you (Matt. 6:14-15).
- Preach the good news of Jesus and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).
- Spend time with other Christians for the purpose of building and stirring them up (Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Cor. 14:23, 26, 40).
- Teach one another, including singing (Eph. 4:11-16; 5:18-19; Col. 3:16).
- Correct a brother or sister who is guilty of sin (Jude 22-23; 2 Tim. 4:2).
Our attitude with these is to grow and to thank GOD for what He's done for us. We don't do these or anything in order to earn His favor or salvation. We are saved by grace.
Can you think of others? If so, add it to the comments below.