Do you ever wonder what God wants from you? Honestly, I just wish He would spell it out in black and white sometimes.
What’s that? You say He did spell it out in black and white?
In Deuteronomy 10:12-13, Moses says, “‘And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?'”
The implied answer is, “Nothing. God doesn’t ask anything else of us except those things Moses lists in these two verses.”
So let’s break down these verses.
First, God asks us to fear Him. In other words, have a healthy respect for who He is, the power He has, and the honor He is due. That seems easy enough. But it proves harder to live by when we minimize our own sin. When we start to think in terms of not being “that bad”, we can be sure our fear of God is not up to par.
Second, we are to walk in all His ways. What does that mean? It means take WWJD to the extreme. Imitate God’s characteristics. Be generous, loving, kind, helpful, etc., to the degree that He is.
Third, God asks us to love Him. At the risk of giving you Night at the Roxbury flashbacks, what is love? Love is a commitment to act in a way that is in the other person’s best interest no matter what it costs you. How, then, do we act in God’s best interest? By living our lives in a manner that represents Him well to others.
Next, we are to serve God with all our hearts and all our souls. That means we are to worship Him, and Him alone, with passion. Also, we are to put Him ahead of ourselves. So if He asks us to do something we don’t particularly want to do, serving Him would be to do it anyway.
Lastly, we are to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees, which happen to be for our own good, not to feed His ego. And where do we find these commands and decrees? In the Bible, of course. We can’t obey it if we don’t know it. So read the Bible. A lot.
In short, God asks us to respect Him, to imitate His goodness, to love Him, to worship Him with passion, and to obey His Word.
It’s interesting that He doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He doesn’t ask us to never mess up. He doesn’t ask us to perform rituals. He doesn’t ask us to pray a certain way for a certain length of time a certain number of times each day. He doesn’t ask us to earn anything.
Essentially, God is concerned with our hearts. Yes, He wants our actions to be respectful and loving and good, but those actions are to flow out of hearts that are set on Him. He is not interested in hollow performance. He simply wants us to sincerely love Him.
And that’s not too much to ask.