What Does God Want From Us?

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January 13, 2016 by James Lindquist

Part Two: Helping Man Grow

Any discussion on why God seeks man has to begin with the knowledge of His nature. God’s nature binds Him to who He is because it cannot be any other way. God’s nature is one of love, holiness, and righteousness. His attributes and character are immutable.

Man, on the other hand, is also constrained by his nature. However, in an unregenerate and natural state, God’s Word says that he is deceitful and desperately wicked [1]. In this natural state, man’s entire psyche is in bondage to sin and his carnal mind is at enmity with God [2]. It can also be no other way. That is until Jesus Christ. Upon our repentance and acceptance of His grace, mercy, and the free gift of salvation, Christ gives us a new nature.

v17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new [2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV].

REPENTANCE AND ACCEPTANCE
Because we have repented, accepted Him, received our new nature, and are now “In Christ,” what does God look for in His creation? First, Father God looks on the heart [3] to see if Christ even dwells there. Is this enough for God? On our journey of faith, God also requires of us, a few more aspects on which we need to grow.

True repentance is not worrying about how badly you screwed up or worrying about the consequences of your sin, it’s about wanting to get back into the presence of God because sin separates us from god.

FAITH
We have already learned that it is impossible to please God without faith [4]. However, He gives us all the faith that we need and it is free of charge [5]. We have to grow in the allotted faith given to us by ourselves, but the initial seed God gives to us is free.

The amount of victory we have in our lives is commensurate with the amount of faith that we practice. Receiving victory is the hardest thing to do without faith. Another way of looking at receiving victory is by using an alternative word for faith, and that word is “trust.” So, how do we build our faith in order to please God? We do it through. . .

OBEDIENCE
Obeying God is for our benefit. How else can we build our faith? How can we conform to the image of Christ [6]? How can we become holy and righteous through faith, if not through obedience? God is not some tyrannical entity in the sky that has all these rules to keep us under His thumb, and if we fail, starts throwing lightning bolts at us. Good heavens no.

Our obedience is for our benefit so we can become Christ like and be holy because God is holy [7]. How can there be fellowship with God unless we work toward this goal of being “In Christ? What do we need to do to work toward this fellowship with God and the goal of being “In Christ?” Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

SUBMISSION
James 4:7 says that we should Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Many Scriptures talk about submission. Some talk about submitting to authorities [8], some speak to wives [9] and husbands [10], to each other [11], while others speak to submitting to masters [12].

The thing with submission is, in terms of definition, it can be either compulsory or voluntary. People can submit to another and still not like the idea of submitting because the submission is required of them. Sometimes when the Bible talks of submission it uses the companion word subject [13]. The word “subject” by itself, gives the connotation of requirement but it can also be voluntary.

COMMITMENT
Commitment, on the other hand, gives the connotation of a voluntary action. When we personally commit to someone it is from the heart and is not a mandatory action. Our only assurance that all is well and taken care of totally depends on the person to whom we’ve consigned a matter [14]. Consigned is another word for commitment.

We can be rest assured that when we not only submit to Christ, but commit to Him, He will take care of all matters according to His will for our lives. We can trust Jesus, and have faith “In Christ.” You cannot give commitment without the devotion to that commitment.

v5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass [Psalms 37:5 KJV].

DEVOTION
To be devoted to Christ is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. To have faith in Christ, to obey His precepts, voluntarily submit to Him, trust in Him and Him alone, and commit your life to Him. Other words for devotion are loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity. Those who do not live for Christ will not die for Christ. No builder starts a project and no king starts a war without counting the cost. Otherwise he/she becomes as salt that has lost its savor [15].

Each of us has to carry our own Cross [16]. It could very well cost us everything in this day and age. However, the rewards are great [17]. Will we give up an eternity with Him for a few crummy years here on Earth? I for one, will not. I love you Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength [18].

v30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment [Mark 12:30, 31 KJV].

_____________________________________
[1] Jeremiah 17:9
[2] Romans 8:6, 7
[3] 1 Samuel 16:7
[4] Hebrews 11:6
[5] Size – Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6 Growth – Matthew 13:31, 32; Luke 13:18, 19
[6] Romans 8:29
[7] 1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44, 45; 20:26
[8] Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13; Hebrews 13:17 There’s probably about 75 more
[9] Ephesians 5:22
[10] Ephesians 5:25-33
[11] Ephesians 5:21
[12] Ephesians 6:5; 1 Peter 2:18-25
[13] Ephesians 5:21-24
[14] Isaiah 26:3, 4; Psalms 37:5, 7; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 2:13-16, 23
[15 Luke 14:26-35
[16] Luke 14:27
[17] Matthew 16:27; 1 John 5:13; Revelation 22:12; Names: James 1:2, 1 Corinthians 9:25, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 2 Timothy 4:7,8; and 1 Peter 5:2-4. Plus there are rewards in this life.
[18] Mark 12:30, 31

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