What Does God Want From Me?
It may be a simple answer
“I don’t want your sacrifices — I want your love; I don’t want your offerings — I want you to know me. Hosea 6:6 TLB
Through the years, I have worked hard in the church. I was spread thin between the music ministry, teaching Sunday school classes, working with the visitation ministry, prayer groups, and Bible classes. Not to mention that I was raising my five children to be followers of Jesus Christ by making sure they were in church every time the door was open.
I was younger then. When I look back, it makes me tired just thinking about it. I loved the Lord then as I do more so now, and I was trying to please Him. It is acceptable to do extraordinary tasks and give gifts to those we love, including God. However, we must also be careful not to think our labors are to gain a special love from Him.
Our world has a merit system.
It starts in elementary school when we receive a grade for our subjects, behavior, contributions, and attendance. We notice at a young age that the teacher’s pet is usually the one who is perfect in all ways. This merit system continues through college and later when we work for a company or business. As long as we follow the rules, work hard, do not talk back, and volunteer for extra jobs, we will usually do well.
So why then, when I work for Christ, give Him my offerings, follow almost every rule, go to church, pray, and read my Bible daily, do I feel deficient and insecure? Did I think that God worked on the same merit system as me concerning His love? This system says, “If I do just a little more, He will love me more.” Maybe some of my thinking is wrong because my love definition is flawed.
Does God love me less?
I am older now, and my religious world has changed since the Covid19 pandemic hit. I found out that I am not going to hell if I am not in church. My son is a pastor, so almost every Sunday I watch his church service on my computer. I still read my Bible and pray because I enjoy spending time with the Lord. Other than writing these devotionals, my work has dropped dramatically. I contemplate, “Does God love me less?”
I fall so short of the perfect mark. I have made many mistakes and have allowed unwholesome talk to come from my lips. I have shown pride and passed judgment. I have been impatient and unkind. I have forgotten to return items and have been quick-tempered. The list goes on and on, but I reiterate, “Does God love me less?”
God’s merit system is not the same as mine.
Trying to please God to be His pet child is ludicrous. I have nothing in me that is worthy of His love. The fantastic thing is, He loves me just as I am. He does not love me more as I do more, and He does not love me less when I give less. His love is unchanging. So when I think His love depends on my actions, I have unintentionally made myself the one in control, essentially holding the power of love. Trust me! I am not the author of love.
This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins. 1 John 4:10 CEB
So I ask myself, “What can I do to make Him love me more?” The answer is, “Nothing!” God’s passion is perfect, with or without my love. God’s love is constant, but my love is a work in progress. So I query, “What does God want from me?” The answer is quite simple — He merely wants me.
Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me just as I am. I am yours, Lord. Help me to know you more so that my love will grow for you. Then my offerings will be a reflection of that love. Amen
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