What God Really Wants From Us
God wants our attention. He wants us to look to him – not run and hide. He wants us to humble ourselves, to recognize his eternal [almighty] power and his divine nature [his righteousness], to seek him and honor his requests, to accept his love and to claim his promises. This passage shows us the kind of devotion that he expects from us.
Hating Our Lives So We Can Follow Christ
NIV Luke 14;25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
We are warned to first count the cost, that we if we don’t hate even our own life, we can not be Jesus’ disciple. If we love this life, love this world, it will interfere with our ability to follow Christ. Another passage that helps us accomplish this reminds us that we are no longer citizens of this world.
Worldly Desires War Against Our Soul
NLT 1 Peter 2;7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” 11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
We are to think of ourselves not as earthlings, but as followers of Christ and residents of Heaven. We are foreigners in this world, temporary resident who understand their real home is in Heaven.
Living by the Spirit’s Power
NLT Eph 5;15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
What if you haven’t yet heard from the Holy Spirit what you should do? The Bible tells us the answer. We are to wait and keep seeking God, crying out to God day and night.
NLT Luke 18;6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
We are not to guess. We are not to presume God’s will. We have to stop performing and start seeking. God tells us to cry out day and nite until we hear. Those who don’t have the faith to keep seeking do not measure up to the faith that God requires. Sure, we will receive guidance directly from his word, but the Holy Spirit job is to guide our steps. If we presume our guidance can only be found in the word, we become a Presumer Performer not a followers of Christ [Are You A Presumer – Performer?].
NLT John 16:12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.
I pray we all can study our Bibles, seek and hear the Holy Spirit, and find out what the Lord wants us to do.