DB Clips: What Does God Want From Me?
Today we look at the simple question, what does God want from me? Of course, maybe that question doesn’t look so simple on its face.
This is a question that comes up in everyone’s life at one time or another. We may ask it a slightly different way. Maybe it’s what is the point of my life, or why am I here.
To answer this question, we’re going to go to someone who spent much longer trying to answer this question, and with much more resources at his disposal. That person is King Solomon. On the surface it might seem odd to look at an answer so old. Certainly, we are much smarter and more sophisticated than they were thousands of years ago. What you’ll find though is everything that we struggle with now, they struggled with then.
In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon is reflecting on life and everything he’s learned in life. In the beginning of the book, he looks to wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 1:13a it says, “and I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is under heaven.”
This search is what brought about much of the book of Proverbs.
When wisdom itself didn’t provide a complete answer, he turned to something else.
Ecclesiastes 2:1 says, “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.”
Being the King in what was at the time the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on earth he was able to fill that desire.
So, Solomon looks to find meaning in wisdom, then follows that up with trying to satisfy with pleasure. What conclusion does Solomon come to? We find that answer in Ecclesiastes 12:13
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
At first glance our modern interpretation of this is probably a cynical view on it. It would go something like God is someone I need to be afraid of and do everything He says. He’s the kid with a magnifying glass ready to burn us tiny ants if we make him upset.
To understand this though we need to look at it through the lens it was written. How would the people at that time understand it?
Let’s take the phrase Fear God. The word fear here is less like a scary clown chasing me and more seeing God with the weight of His awe and wonder. God created everything with just His word. The implication of this is He could destroy anything with another word.
Many years ago, I was in India for work, and went to a Wildlife Preserve. I was allowed into the back to see the lions. I was close enough to them that I could reach out and touch them if I wanted to. I can tell you this, never have I been so happy to have inch thick steel bars between an animal and myself.
I could tell that if those bars didn’t separate us that lion could kill me if he wanted, and there was nothing I would be able to do about it. At the same time these animals were so powerful and majestic. It was this same type of sense of awe and wonder, and a conscious acknowledgement that they were dangerous towards me.
If you’ve ever been out of the city lights at nighttime and looked up in the vast stretch of space. Seeing billions of starts, or the beauty of a morning sunrise. It’s an amazing and awe-inspiring thing to see. This is just a taste though of the awe and wonder of God.
The reason we don’t have to fear God in the normal sense of the word is because of what we know of His character. A being so powerful as to be able to create all of existence, yet so loving as to want to have a relationship with His creation. He went so far as to send His son to die on a cross to bridge the gap and reconcile us to Him.
In Ephesians God calls us His beloved children and describes us as God’s workmanship. Psalms talks of how He knit us together. From the start, the bible is a story of God’s plan to restore all His creation to Himself.
Let’s look at the next part, keep His commandments. Again, the cynical view is to say oh God just wants us to do what He wants. The truth is, yes, He does.
What are His commandments though? Jesus summed up the commandments in two. Love the Lord God with all your heart soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. So, to keep God’s commandments, we must keep Him first in our life, and treat everyone else with the grace and mercy that He has shown us.
You see, when God is first in our life, we won’t covet anything else, have jealousy towards what others have, or yearn for something to fill the gap. God is our Father, and the bible says we are adopted into His family.
So, what does God want from us? First, He wants us to see Him for who He is. He is the all-powerful creator of all the universe, and the God who loves us. Second, He wants us to love Him as He loves us and treat others the way He has treated us. It is at the same time the simplest, and most difficult thing we can do.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, go to our website at dbcc.com, click on Grow, then sermons. Look for the teaching series on Colossians and click on the sermon titled The Meaning of Life.
Thanks, and God Bless.