Friday, December 3, 2010

What Does God Want From Me?

What Does God Want From Me?

Call methe Quester.I've been king over Israel in Jerusalem. I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there's not much to write home about. God hasn't made it easy for us. I've seen it all and it's nothing but smoke—smoke, and spitting into the wind.

Life's a corkscrew that can't be straightened,

A minus that won't add up.

I said to myself,
I know more and I'm wiser than anyone before me in Jerusalem. I've stockpiled wisdom and knowledge.What I've finally concluded is that so-called wisdom and knowledge are mindless and witless—nothing but spitting into the wind.

Much learning earns you much trouble.

The more you know, the more you hurt.
1

But life must be more than just a quest to know, if it is to have real meaning. I thought about those of you who write about Christ, life, relationships and what it truly means to live a life that truly pleases God.

What does Christ see when He looks at me?

Am I seeking to give myself to Him or am I only seeking what I can get from Him?

I ask the Lord for something every day in prayer; without fail. I want something. I make my requests known to Him. Last night I confessed.

Why am I asking You when You already know my thoughts Lord?

When I pray for my son, or daughter, a relative or friend, when I pray for those who read this blog, is it then wrong to share my own personal needs before You Lord?

There is silence as I attempt to still my thoughts from running back and forth; keeping busy. My thoughts often seem to parallel Martha, who was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen when the Lord visited her home. I need silence that I might hear God speak to my spirit.

What does God say to you in the silence of your thoughts?

Often I hear the same words, time and again.

Worship Me.

Confess before Me.

How do you worship the Lord?

I looked for examples of worship in scripture and came across this tidbit:

…you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go...2

I thought about these words, “you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose… there for his dwelling”, and I realized that the place the Lord chose for me to worship is within me.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.3

I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.4

God has put His Spirit in us so that we would walk before Him in the only way that truly pleases Him, faithfully.

But how am I to worship God?

In the Old Testament, the Israelites worshipped the Lord with burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings, but what does God really want from me?

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the LORD is God.

It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of his pasture
5

Do you think I feast on venison? or drink draughts of goats' blood? Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises...6

God wants to see me filled with gladness when I come before Him joyful songs. To worship Him in a way that tells Him, “I don’t want to hold anything back from You Lord.” God takes no pleasure in the sacrifice of animals when He has offered the ultimate sacrifice: His Son, Jesus Christ. He wants me to serve Him a banquet of praises, my very own recipe. God wants me to be faithful as He Himself is faithful, by keeping my word. God is Light so there cannot be even the slightest change that would mutate the character and nature of His promises. God is saying to me: Be faithful by keeping your promise to Me.

We say, “Take my life Lord.What do we mean by these words?

Do I want God to possess me in such a way that I’m not reserving any part of me from Him?

Have I given God access to my life which I previously kept reserved for me?

The Israelites sacrifices animals, what am I offering up to God from my life?

Do I give Him my time or am I too busy for God?

Do I give Him my talent, or am I using it to indulge myself?

Do I give Him my treasure, or is my treasure reserved for only me?

Do I realize how badly God wants what I hold on to so tightly?

It is an awesome thing to ponder the thought that, God values and wants me; all of me.

God is not satisfied with just a morsel of my life. No more than I would be satisfied with just a prayer that is proportionally answered to the degree I give myself to Him. If God divvied out His love, blessings, and grace to us the way we give ourselves to Him, would you be pleased with His effort?

God said this regarding His relationship with Abraham:

The LORD said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do'...7

God had no desire to hide from Abraham what He was about to do. I don’t believe God wants to hide from you or me what He is about to do in our life.

Do I want to know what God is going to do?

What can I learn from God when I come before Him with a heart willing to listen?

Will God respond when I:
  1. Worship Him without reservation
  2. Serve Him a banquet recipe of my sincere praise
  3. Confess my life before Him openly
  4. Honor my promises to Him faithfully
  5. Demolish the walls that hinder me hearing Him
God responds to me
I believe He will respond.

I can never meet the extent of God’s response to me, but I will never cease my effort to extend myself more and more towards Him.

Father God,

You are The Awesome God, the great I AM! It is You alone that I worship, You alone that I praise and You alone that I adore. How faithful You are to me! I want to prepare myself for You as a banquet of praise. You are too great for the few words I have to extol You. Someone once said, "What a wonder You Are!" How true these words echo in my thoughts. Your love and peace flood me beyond measure. I confess my sins that I may stand before You in reverence and adoration. Through Your Son, Jesus Chirst, there is no longer a wall of partition beween You and me. Thank You Lord Jesus for tearing it down and establishing peace with God on my behalf. No one could have done this but You Lord Jesus. I want to be faithful Lord, that I may stand in Your presence and hear what You're going to do. Heal those who cry out in anguish. Give favor and blessings to those who've lost job, career, home or family, but cling to a hope that You will respond. Move forth by the power of Your Spirit and reveal Yourself as The Sovereign Lord. Amen.


Spiritual Sundays

Note: Several months ago, a blogger friend suggested I visit Charlotte and Ginger who host the blog Spiritual Sundays, and that I should link in with fellow bloggers who share encouraging and inspirational posts.
I believe you will find hearts ablaze with faith, love, compassion, kindness, humility, and fellowship in Christ. I encourage you to visit. You won't be disappointed.

Footnotes:
  1. Ecclesiastes 1:13-18, The Message Bible
  2. Deuteronomy 12:4-5, NIV
  3. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NASB
  4. Ezekiel 36:27, NASB
  5. Psalm 100:1-3, NIV
  6. Psalm 50:13-14, The Message Bible
  7. Genesis 18:17, NASB
References:
  1. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  2. The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
  3. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  4. The Message Bible, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress Publishing Group, Colorado Springs, CO, ISBN-13: 978-1600060250
  5. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  6. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  7. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896

52 comments:

Wanda said...

MTJ, I see you ponder the deep things of God as well. I'm not satisfied with just those common phrases we hear but I want to know what does it mean and how do I apply to my life. Praising Him along with you today. I'll have to stop in at Spiritual Sunday.

Audrey said...

I share with you in the quest to know all there is to know about our Father, to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and to walk daily in His spirit.

Ruth said...

Hi MTJ, thanks for sharing this profound truth and wisdom... most often than not i become a Martha... drawn to the many things-to-be done when He would rather have me be still ans sit at His feet... and worship Him.

thank you and blessings,
Ruth

Sharon Kirby said...

I hardly know where to begin responding to this especially thought-FULL post. You have spoken so many truths - so many that have shot straight to my heart - with conviction, encouragement, inspiration.

So, I'm going to pick two lines that particularly jumped out at me. (Want you to know this is like picking out a diamond in a pile of gold nuggets - it's ALL GOOD!!)

"What does God say to you in the silence of your thoughts?"

The first thing that occurs to me is how hard it is to silence my thoughts, you know? But this is what I'm hearing from Him, above all else - Trust Me. Seek Me.

"Do I realize how badly God wants what I hold on to so tightly?"

My sons, my husband, my family, my home, my finances, my ego, my health, my talents, my time, etc - my tight little fists that hold on...

He wants me to let go - just LET GO...

Thank you for a post that once again brought me to my knees, at the foot of the Savior - to proclaim yet again - Lord, I want to be faithful...

GOD BLESS!

Nicole said...

Wonderful post my brother! I too am often like Martha. My prayers become jumbled because I am always thinking of other things too.
God has done so much for us, and yet I still have a problem giving Him all of me or not asking for something in prayer! I have to continue to remember to praise Him and thank Him for all that He has done and all that His Son has done for us! How can we ever repay that?
I just hope and pray that I will just get stronger, learn more about Him and share with others about Him! Pray that I will put Him first even over my family! (That is still sometimes the hardest) I know that is what He is waiting for, for me to want Him more than anything and once I am to that spot then I will need no more!!

sorry, my comments always tend to ramble and go off of what I intended. Good thing you know how I am though!

Have a blessed weekend!!

Ian Curtis said...

I enjoyed the content. Part of it reminded me of something my wife and I read from Thrivent Lutheran magazines. I am not trying to cause a schism here; only pointing out something odd in the thinking of confessing Christians. Some Lutherans (and I'm sure other Christians) tithe 10% of their income to the Lord as the Mosaic Law commanded, and feel that God truly blesses them for this. How different is your insight on what God truly wishes of us! He doesn't want 10% of our income; He wants 100% of our life! It gives new meaning to Jesus' words when He said, "Count the cost..." and "Take up your cross daily and follow Me." Amen to your post, and I hope it rouses many sleeping Christians to a more vital relationship with God, who held nothing back. Not even His Son. Our love in Christ, Ian.

Whidbey Woman said...

Wow. What a great post! This has given me so much to think about and reflect upon this weekend.
Bless you.

micey said...

This is a most excellent study! Thank you!

Sherry said...

Amen and Amen. I am constantly in the Word. Your post has made me appreciate it that much more. When I ask God what I need to do, it always comes to me to "Be Still and know that I am God." You're right, He wants all of me and that is my quest to give Him back all that He gave me. Thank you for sharing this with us.

A Cracked Pot said...

It seems the Holy Spirit is weaving a theme within the hearts of His people. Everywhere I look lately, everything I read, brings me back to this - to seek God's face...to worship and praise Him...to pray without ceasing. God is calling His people back to Himself.

Thank you for sharing this post and sharing your heart.

Crystal Mary said...

I love what you have written here..It seems a life long search to work our His will for us.. I love to LISTEN to Him.. just sit and wait. I am so amazed at what I get. He love you. You are the APPLE of His eye...Rejoice..Blessings to you. CML

Charlotte said...

What a thoughtful post. I believe these are questions we all need to ask ourselves. Thank you for sharing.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Joan said...

As Sharon said, you have packed a lot of truth in this post. I also crave a deep understanding and knowledge of His word. I also have Martha tendencies and find it hard to focus upon my prayers due to my thoughts traveling in different directions. Yet there are other times when I just sit still and remain silent - listening for His still small voice.

Again, you have given me much to ponder.

Blessings,
Joan

Pain to Purpose said...

An interesting post. I also have wondered how to worship God. He has shown me that loving the unlovable is a major God pleaser. God is love. My life might be the only Bible someone ever reads.
Have a great weekend.

Renee said...

What a deep and thoughtful post, with so many good questions for us to consider. Much here to think about.

sarah said...

this post shows how much your heart is for Him...and I'm with you...I want to know Him and be a Light to shine for Him too. You shine MTJ....your heart is in every one of your posts...and thank you so much for what you commented on my blog...it means alot to me. ☺

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

It seems I'm always asking for help. I need to pray and ask what can I do for him for a change. This is a great post,thank-you.
Blessings,
Ginger

Susy said...

A wonderful, deep, thought-provoking, and searching study. Thank you for recapturing your thought process and scripture study. What encouragement to know that as we seek Him, we will find Him. Blessings.

Crown of Beauty said...

I'm new here...came over from Nikki's blog (Writing). Your words are deep, and speak to me. I appreciate your honesty and how you shared from many angles on worship, an important theme of my life journey. It is a post I will have to read several times over - so meaty, so worth reading every line.

So glad I was led to visit your blog place today.

The prayer at the end was my prayer too.

Blessings,
Lidia

Virginia said...

What a thoughtful and wonderful post...Lots to think about.
Blessings,
Virginia

Loren said...

I love this post for so many reasons....these are questions we must ask ourselves. For me, those times of being like Martha bring conviction but I am thankful because I know in that conviction God is showing me to Be Still, To be in a position of Worship and Adoration. to look within!

Thanks MTJ! I pray you have a blessed weekend and that you experience the Lord in a powerful way

Merana Leigh said...

Oh my dear friend, how I have missed you & your insight. I LOVE this post...for MANY reasons, but especially "the place the Lord chose for me to worship is within me"! I have prayed for you often & look fwd to reading more of your posts now that I can actually breathe again! LOL! Hugs ~ Merana

Anita Johnson said...

You asked how we worship. Today at church we heard the story of unborn John leaping in the womb as Mary approached. That's how we should worship this Advent season. I really enjoyed your post!

Donnie said...

Very intense and inspirational. Have a blessed Sunday.

Karen June Miller said...

Wow! Well said! Thank-you!

Sarah said...

Thank you for your words wrapped in His.

Delighted to meet you today. Hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing spot to drench myself in some serious goodness.

Splashin'
Sarah

Faith Imagined said...

This post really spoke to me! I have been asking similar questions you stated at the beginning and you answered them powerfully. God doesn't want a morsel of me and He certainly doesn't want me grudgingly. He wants ALL OF ME and full of praise and thanksgiving for HIM!

Thank you for sharing your spiritual journey with us. I always learn so much by your words.

Karen said...

Oh, amen! He WILL respond!

I loved how you worded this:

"He wants me to serve Him a banquet of praises, my very own recipe."...

Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

A lot to think about and much reason to spend time in the Lord's presence so that we can hear His still voice directing us.

It's a good time of the year to surrender more of ourselves to Him and yield more to His presence.

Blessings,
Janis

lioneagle said...

Hi MTJ -

Thank you for this enriching piece full of truth and the love of GOD.

Peggy (mazmagi) said...

Blessings MTJ...

I have read this a few times, and gone away, pondering your thoughts
and how to respond to the Quester and you! Once more you have gone deep down within and written a wonderful filled piece of so much introspection and great questions for us on a topic near and dear to my heart: WORSHIP! This not only is a great blessing to many but an enrichment of your thoughts wrapped in God's Word. SOLID!

I had to really ponder this:
"What does God want from me?"
...to obey and follow His will...
do I know God's will for me?
...to obey, to serve others as I would serve Him, to love others as I love Him, to worship Him in all I do, in thought, word, or deed...
do I do this?
... not quite...

I can write or talk all I want but until I get to that place of complete surrender and obedience to His Word, not man made rules or religiosity... legalism...

I'm off on another tangent so back to your work at hand (trying to stay focused). I truly appreciate the honesty of your thoughts written here and the many self examining questions and dialog.

I am so glad that in the "silence of your thoughts" you hear Him say,
"Worship Me". This alone tells us much! Lay down all that is standing between me and Thee. Not just sins.
Not just false idols or sacrifices.
Not just busyness. Yes, you came to a place of saying "Take ALL of me, my life"... but are we ready? are we willing?

God does value you MTJ and all of us! Praise God! We are "WOMEN of Worth"...even Rahab... and MEN of worth!

I believe HE RESPONDED and He will respond each time we listen with a willing and ready heart to do 1-5:
Worship, Serve, Confess(admit), Honor, Tear down strongholds or walls, barriers that keep us from hearing and reaching.

AMEN!!! More and More towards Him!
Amen, amen, amen to that awesome prayer.

Thanks for your thought filled journey and visit to leave some of those thoughts with me and "Women of Worth"... this was the 2nd. Tamar was 1st!

Peace,
Peggy

From The Heart Online said...

'banquet of praise', 'my own recipe'. I love that!

What a wonderful reminder of how God loves me - as I am. Yes, I have sin. Yes I have bad habits. Yes. I will until I die. God knows this and loves me anyway.

But while he refines me, he adores me as his own daughter.

Sometimes I'm tempted to act like someone else. Maybe then I would please God... but God made me with this personality, these tendencies - for a reason.

While he shapes and refines me, I can be confident in offering him my own 'recipe' - my own banquet of praise.

Thanks MTJ :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.