How to Know What God Really Wants From Us
Is there really an answer? Absolutely!
Do you ever wonder what God wants from you as a human being?
Do you question whether you’re living a good ‘Christian’ life…one that God would look down on and be pleased?
Do you know that you are experiencing His best for you?
How can you represent God in the world in such a way that He would be pleased with your actions?
These are big questions so I went on the journey to finding the answer. In this article, I’m going to dive into what God TRULY wants from us as Christians and how abiding in Him gives us that answer at a heart level.
This is quite the topic so if you read this article and have additional insight, please comment below :-).
Not long ago I posted a quote on my social media:
“If you were put on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
This question got me thinking…would there actually be enough evidence to convict me for being a Christ-follower?
I certainly hope so!
I’d like to think that I’m living a life that God would be happy with, but do I really know?
Do any of us really know?
You, like most, are probably kind, considerate, loving, helpful and giving. So what differentiates a Christian from a human being who is not a Christ-follower, but also displays the ‘fruits of the spirit?’
Personally, I try to honour God with who I am and what I do, displaying the fruits as much as possible. The truth is, even though I try my best, I’m very FAR from perfect.
Maybe you try hard to show these ‘fruits’ as well. You believe you’re doing what He would want most of the time, knowing you aren’t perfect, as nobody is.
We can be thankful that when we give our life to Him, He accepts us with His love and grace. Even though we have that from God, as Christians we want our actions to honour and represent Him.
But we ALL have sin in us and we always come up short. Paul vulnerably admits this in himself, saying, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” ~Romans 7:15,19–20
This is the same for each one of us, whether we want to admit it or not.
So how do we live a life that would show evidence that we are in fact Christ-followers? How do we do this when sin gets the best of us more than we’d like to admit?
I feel the best way to understand whether we are honouring Him with our actions is to go to the Bible.
I set out to answer some big questions like…
Do my words, thoughts and actions show that I am reverent to Him?
Am I practicing submission to His ways?
Do I spend more time trying to control my life and what happens around me than letting go and letting God?
What does He want from me?
My questions drove me to dive into his word, and in doing so, I found some powerful answers.
The Bible Says
Luke 6:37–38 says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
I pondered my ability to forgive and whether I was willing to let go of the wrongs done to me by others. Was I able to refrain from judging others? Did I condemn people and situations when they didn’t look or feel the way I wanted them to? Did I look at things as bad or good when I didn’t really know God’s greater plan?
1 John 3:17 says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
I wondered: ‘Am I giving enough to people in my life, especially the ‘least of these?’ (Matthew 25:40) Do I see people begging on the street and help them? Usually I pass them by, feeling bad but not doing anything to reach out to them. I know these people are God’s children too and He loves them so why do I pass them by, judging them and believing that they chose to be in that place? Is that right? Would I be convicted for being a Christian with this type of behaviour when God says “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me?” ~Matthew 25:40
I am fully aware that we are saved by grace, as Ephesians 2:8–9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
We can be confident of this, however, I also read James 2:26, which explains that “the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
So God wants us to do good works. He commands us to “Love (Him) with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbour as ourself.” ~Mark 12:30–31a paraphrased
These are the first two commandments and they are extremely important to God. So He clearly wants us to love our neighbour.
If I was on trial would I be convicted for loving my neighbour? I don’t mean just loving the people who are lovable, or loving because it serves me somehow. I mean loving unselfishly, with agape love. Do I expect something in return or do I give freely to others because that is what God asks me to do? Would God be pleased with how I love others? What about you?
So what does God want from us?
Does He want us to follow all the rules perfectly all the time?
Does He judge and condemn us based on the actions we take?
Is He just waiting for us to miss the mark so He can reign down fire and brimstone?
The answer is NO.
Even when David mentions this in the Psalms, he is talking about people who don’t know God and are plotting evil.
You are not inherently evil and neither am I. So what does God do when we are followers of Him and we sin, miss the mark and our flesh directs our steps instead of the Holy Spirit?
Romans 8:8 says, “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” What does ‘in the flesh’ mean exactly?We are ALWAYS in the flesh right?! We are human. What is meant here is that when we focus on our sinful desires, instead of the spirit of God, we are not experiencing His best for us.
God wants us to focus on Him, on His spirit, His grace and his love. That way we can feel it ourselves and better share it with others.
God wants us to know Him, and we can only know Him through Jesus. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to show them the Father, He replied, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
He wants us to be in relationship with Him fully!
He makes this statement: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” ~Mark 7:21–23
Therefore He wants to know us and have us know Him. He wants REAL relationship, and when we are in relationship with Him our heart changes. Out of that relationship and our heart, our actions flow. When we abide in Him we are better able to shine His light and love others the way HE wants us to.
What Flows From Us When We’re Close To God:
John 7:38 says “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
We also read that “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” ~Luke 6:45
Also, Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
If what is inside our heart flows out, we need check our heart. We do this by focussing on God and allowing Him to work in us every day. Many people are kind, generous and loving toward others (including you and me) but God looks at the heart.
When the Lord spoke to Samuel, He said “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” ~1 Samuel 16:7
So in order to be pleasing to God, our heart needs to be in the right place.
We can choose to pray a similar prayer to David, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” ~Psalm 19:14
Are we concentrating on our heart being in the right place and pleasing to God? We know that what flows out of us is directly related to what is in our heart, so how do we get our heart in the right place?
Proverbs 2:1–11 paints a beautiful picture:
“If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair — every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
I wonder, have I been doing this enough? Has my heart been focused on God? If so, what is flowing out of me?
If I was on trail would I be convicted?
Would God be pleased with me or would He say ‘I never knew you?’
Would He see that I gave to others or would he see that I did not give to the least of these?
Even though His grace covers me and I am saved, is He happy with my actions?
What about you? Would God be pleased with your heart? Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
I believe my intentions are good and my heart is in the right place, yet I wonder — could I be doing better?
But that’s not really the question — the real question is this: What is my heart focused on and what is flowing from it?
How to Keep Your Heart Focused on God:
(from Proverbs 2:1–11, quoted above)
Read God’s word and know what He asks of you
Cry out to Him and ask for wisdom and understanding.
Listen and apply what you’ve learned and continue to search for Him and have a deeper relationship with Him.
He will give you wisdom, understanding, protection and victory.
He will keep watch over you and as more wisdom enters your heart you’ll have an even better understanding and discernment.
What your mind and heart are focused on is EXTREMELY important to God. He wants us to keep seeking Him and we do that with our mind and heart. As we have a healthier heart which is focused on Him, we will have greater discernment and will make better choices for the most part. Obviously we are human so this is not a perfect system, but God doesn’t expect perfection — He simply wants us to be committed to Him and His ways.
I know that I need to keep abiding in Him and filling my heart and mind with His wisdom and strength. As He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~John 15:5
Abiding in Him is paramount and crucial to doing His will and keeping our heart centred on Him.
This is what I’m pondering today…and I believe I’ve found some powerful answers.
How about you?
Would you be convicted if you were put on trial for being a Christian?
Because it’s based on your heart, only you and God can answer that.
As a very wise man Solomon once said: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Therefore guard your mind, guard your heart, hold your thoughts captive to Christ and allow your heart to be transformed…
Then you will know you are doing what He would want you to do!
Alana Palm is the founder of Wake Up Joyful, a ministry dedicated to helping people who struggle with mental health to transform their mindset through encouragement, personal development & biblical teachings so they can live a life of joy, confidence, courage & freedom. Find out more about her FREE offers, including the free download that goes with this article, at linktr.ee/wakeupjoyful