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Have You Ever Wondered What God Really Wants?
"In all cases, at all times, and with reference to all His creatures, He prefers holiness to sin; He sincerely desires that there should be perfect obedience to His commandments." - Barnes' Notes
What is it that God really wants from His people? Can we know?
Absolutely! Throughout the Bible, we find Scriptures which depict that very thing - the earnest wish and desire of God.
It behooves us to study these Scriptures so that we can glean a knowledge of His ways and then apply these truths to our lives in practical obedience.
Deuteronomy 5:29 says - "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" God desires that His people have a heart to fear Him and keep His commandments forever. He wishes for them a lifestyle of holiness and steadfast obedience. Who can give them such a heart to hearken and do? None but God! It is His gift to all who are partakers of His covenant of grace - who are opposed to pride and live with His glory in view at all times.
Deuteronomy 32:29 says - "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" Although these were the words of Moses to the children of Israel, they represent the sentiments of Almighty God. He earnestly desires that His people would consider the latter end of sin and be converted. It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should be saved .
Psalm 81:13 says - "Oh that My people had hearkened unto Me, and Israel had walked in My ways!" This verse expresses the earnest desire, wish, and preference of God. No finer example of deep-seated grief can be found than here. Actually, what is being expressed behind these words is the frequent interruptions of sighs and sobs of God - terminated with a mournful cry. Imagine that! What we glean from this verse is the truth which says that more than anything else, He desires that His people would be obedient to His laws and keep His commandments. Resultantly, they would enjoy His favor - which He wants to pour out on them immeasurably.
Lastly, Isaiah 48:18 says - "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." God never, ever wishes for His people to sin and incur judgment. On the contrary, He prefers that they would keep His laws and reap His bountiful blessings. These blessings are expressed as "peace" "as a river" and "righteousness" "as the waves of the sea." The "peace" the Prophet Isaiah refers to is prosperity in general. It includes wholeness, soundness, health, welfare, prosperity, and good of every kind. To say that it would flow "as a river" is to imply that it would be poured out abundantly - like a full, flowing river that fills its banks. It would be continual, increasing, and ever flowing. The "righteousness" the Prophet alluded to was holiness, purity, love, and sincerity. "As the waves of the sea" pictures "righteousness" abounding to the utmost extent. It is boundless, large, numerous, a continual, interrupted stream - constantly rolling its rich blessings all over the land.
What is it that God desires more than anything else?
He earnestly desires that His people would always honor Him and obey all His commands...that they would be wise and mindful of their latter end or the latter end of sin...and that they would listen and do as He says - following His ways and His road map - the Bible. Then His bountiful blessings and victory would roll over on them and their children.
You have seen out of the Word of God what He desires. What are you going to do about it?
Are you living so as to please Him? If not, what needs to change? How long will it take to make those necessary changes?
Do you really care if God gets His desire? Or are you more concerned about living your life so as to please yourself?
We leave you with the opening quote from the Barnes' Notes -
"In all cases, at all times, and with reference to all His creatures, He prefers holiness to sin; He sincerely desires that there should be perfect obedience to His commandments."
May God Bless His Word.