A few years back there was this question rattling around in my mind, influencing my prayer? “What do I really want?”
Over a period of several days, I really began to think about what I wanted, only to realize how very selfish and in many ways irrelevant that question was/is. Instead, I asked the question, “I wonder what God wants?” a much more germane question, and one worth exploring.
It did not take much time to begin to see that my focus of prayer, only too common in our highly me-oriented culture, was truly the wrong direction. To be effective as a believer, I needed to be clear on what God wanted, with the intention of lining my life up with his divine intention, and helping others do the same. Well, the book “What Does God Want: A Study on the Christian Life” is written to answer this more important question, at least to my satisfaction, and hopefully to the satisfaction of the Lord, and for the benefit of others.
One of the distinctions of the New Testament/First Century church was the dramatic change in behavior seen in the converts to Christianity. Men and women who were impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ were changed from the inside out, having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The manifestation of God’s grace applied to a person’s life was a profound transformation of character. Thieves became generous givers (Zacheus), murderers became martyrs (Paul), the timid became strong (Timothy); lives previously bent towards self and personal gain were now thoroughly oriented towards loving God and serving (love) others. Such was, and is, the power of the gospel.
As the church began to grow, hundreds, then thousands came into the church, from all walks of life. Some changed instantaneously, but most changed gradually as they were introduced to the principles of God’s Word. For the Hebrew believer, making right choices was based on a very rigid but clearly defined code of rules, most of which were in line with the Word of God.
Our present day church, though different in outward appearances remains similar to First Century Christianity. Men and women raised in families with strong teaching backed by consistent demonstration of right/wrong ethical behavior need little teaching on social graces, ethical behaviors, or right biblical orientation. The law (ethics) is written on the heart (this is not to say that salvation is not needed). However, in light of our current world of open dysfunctional families raised in a pluralistic, humanistic, materialistic world, ethical teaching to the saved is again (perhaps always has been) necessary for the church to be seen again as the salt and light of the world. Paul stated in Phil. 4:8-9 to think on “whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report”.
What we think on is what will eventually dominate our lives. To fear the Lord, that is, consider what He wants rather than what we want, and being concerned about offending our Lord, will keep us on track. With this in mind, it is my hope that you will consider my book, “What does God Want?”…I think it is a good read, challenging and pertinent.