Tag Archives: what does god want

Quit Checking Boxes


Have you ever thought you knew what someone else wanted, but it turned out you didn’t? Maybe they complimented something once, so we assume they always want that one thing. Or it could be that they told us they liked it, but we never checked back to see if their taste changed. Whatever the case, even though assumptions usually get us in trouble, we still operate on them more often than we should.

Not only do we assume what people want, we also assume what God wants. We often forget that God looks at our heart more than our actions. We treat Christianity as if there are boxes we have to check off to make God happy so He will bless us and hopefully let us go to Heaven. Go to church often: check. Give some money in the offering plate when it passes: check. Do something good for someone else every now and then: check. What if I told you that’s not what God wants?

In Hosea 6, the people assumed they knew what God wanted. They had sinned and thought, “Hey, all God wants are some sacrifices and He’ll come rescue us.” While that was God’s promise to them, they had forgotten what moves God isn’t our outward act, but our inward posture. God’s response to them in verse 6 was, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings” (NLT). They had assumed what God wanted and were wrong.

I think what God said to them is what God wants to say to us today. He would rather we love Him than to check a bunch of religious boxes. He would rather we get to know Him on an intimate level than to do things in His name for our own glory. When you love someone, you put their needs above your own. That’s what God is looking for from you and me today. He’s looking for a selfless love from us that gets to know Him so we don’t have to assume what He wants. It starts with us putting away our religious list and spending time in His presence.

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Spiritual Maturity

Do you remember the moment you began to appreciate what your parents had done for you, and you wanted to do something for them to show it? A child never really knows or understands the sacrifices their parents make for them. They don’t know how many things their parents gave up of what they wanted to do so the child could do what they wanted. Parents instinctively love their children and do things for them not expecting anything in return. When the child begins to understand all their parents have done, it’s usually when they’re an adult.

That mark of maturity can also be seen in a spiritual sense. One of the signs of spiritual maturity is when you no longer see God as a genie in the sky whose job it is to give you what you want and pray for. When He moves from just your provider in your life to all the other things He wants to be, you begin to have a deeper understanding of who He is. God’s desire for us is to move into spiritual maturity.

One night as David was in his palace, and I imagine he was thinking of how far he had come since tending the sheep. I’m sure as he looked the ceiling, he remembered how many times before he was out in the elements. As he thought about these things, another thought came to him. So in II Samuel 7:2, he went to the prophet Nathan and said, “Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but God’s Covenant Box is kept in a tent!” (GNT) David had an aha moment that night. He decided that he wanted to do something for God instead of asking Him for something.

Imagine that. It’s no wonder David was known as a man after God’s own heart. He was deeply flawed, yet he was mature enough to know God beyond the surface level. He wasn’t scared to dive into the heart of God to know who He is, nor should we be. God will reveal Himself to each of us to the extent we are willing to spend time with Him. You will find that the closer you get to the heart of God, the more your life will change to reflect His holiness. Spiritual maturity is possible, but it will take you getting your eyes off yourself and onto Him.

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