What does God want from us?
The answer to this question is not as easy as some might think. Different groups have their version of this, which gives mixed messages everyday. For example, some focus on women being at home and not working. They can’t be in ministry and must “stay in their place.” Others focus on appearance, which means everyone in their group looks the same based on the rules they have. Obeying these rules give the idea they are doing God’s will. Others focus on being intellectual and knowing what’s true doctrine according to them. This can easily tip toward them being the “right ones” while looking at others as less than. This list continues with a variety of angles that define what groups believe God wants from us. This is why people major in the minors.
However, I’m convicted that God wants something deeper than our skin. He wants our heart!
This simple truth is profound and impacts every aspect of our lives. I’ve learned over time that if our heart isn’t changed by the Holy Spirit, we will not be changed. It’s fascinating to me that our minds can know right doctrine and the truth of God’s word and yet at the same time be jealous, full of anger, gossip, not forgive others and many more. This is true because our heart is the center of our motivations and it reveals who we really are. We can’t hide what’s in our heart for long, sooner or later it will come out.
Jesus said in Matthew 15:19 –
“For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.”
Notice all of this and more, comes from our heart. Knowledge is important for us as we need to know what we believe and what God says, but it doesn’t necessarily result in life change.
I’ve done this long enough to have seen this in action. The truth is, when God touches our hearts, He touches our lives. It’s in our brokenness that our lives change the most, not when our minds are stimulated the most. This is why God sees deeper than our skin, He wants our hearts! If He has this then He really has us. We don’t have to live proving points or be better than others because we’re called higher than that. Yet, so many of us can live this way while quoting bible verses and doctrines. But there’s more than that, and it begins when we let Him change our heart.
Notice what Proverbs 4:23 says –
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Again, we see that it’s our heart that determines everything, which is why we need Jesus! Only He can change who we are. Only He can heal our lives and make sense out of our mess. Only He can give us purpose and new beginnings. Only He can change our hearts! Therefore, we must keep the main thing the main thing – Jesus!
This is not about our group or our trivial doctrinal persuasions. This is about Jesus touching our heart and making us new from the inside out. It’s about Him changing our motivations and making us better people in private and in public. It’s Him healing us so we’re not jealous anymore, we’re not competing with others anymore and we’re not worried or comparing our lives with others because we are content through Him. This can happen when our hearts are changed in His presence.
Please understand that it’s fine to have your preference of a group or a style of church, we all have that. Yet, the main thing is that Jesus touches us deeper than our skin. That He goes down into the core of who we are and makes us new from the inside out. That we love God and love people and model an imperfect healed life the best we can.
I encourage you to let God in. Open your heart and give Jesus your secrets. From this place there is healing and true joy that nothing else can give. Please remember, Jesus wants something deeper than our skin and It will always be our heart.
Chase after God because He is chasing after you.
Happy fasting and the best is yet to come!