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There Is Nothing That The Lord Wants More Than This
Posted: 2014-11-11 09:03:45 by: David Nelson
There is Nothing That the Lord Wants More Than This
Get ready to have your thinking about how to serve God revolutionized! Jesus once was asked this question, “What do we need to do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus’ answer was not so much doing but it was, “Believe in the One God has sent (that is Jesus Christ Himself).” How is it that we are to believe? Are we to believe what He said and did while Jesus was here on the earth? Are we to believe that He died on the cross for us to pay for our sins and that He rose again from the dead? Certainly, we are to believe all these things, but there is another meaning here also. We are to learn how to abide in Christ. All of our fruit will come as we learn to abide. (Remember the verses, “Abide in Me (Jesus) and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me…abiding in Me you will bear much fruit but without Me you can do nothing.”) (John 15:4,5) God’s desire is wrapped up in you, your abiding, and the fruit that will come as a result. Was that not what the Father had in His Son Jesus, one who would do nothing from His own initiative, ideas, or desires but only that which He heard and saw from His Father? Is this easy to do? In my years of learning to abide in Christ, it does take some effort and seeking of the Lord but it is so essential! And so, I would like to explain and show how we must very carefully try to listen and obey God with a pure and undiluted desire, and never go back to thinking that we must do things for God that were not given us as directed by His Spirit.
The Bible, God’s written Word, is the most perfect writing and guide for us. But the Word without the Spirit is a dead letter by itself. (II Cor. 3:6) “True religion” is described in the Bible as a person doing such things, helping orphans, giving to the poor, visiting people in prison, etc. You may do these things every day, once a week, or once a year but how do you know how much or how often you are to do these things? (not to mention all the other good deeds listed in the Bible) Righteous living and righteous actions are not to be belittled, but how do we know what to do and when? If we are led by the Spirit God will show us what He wants each individual to do each day. He will have different tasks for each one of us. Here is a good verse, “The complete righteousness of the law (all things God has said are good for us to do) will be fulfilled in those who walk according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:4) We are to abide in Christ, listen to the Spirit, God will show us what to do each hour, each day, and we should do nothing more or nothing less than what the Spirit shows us (the Word being our guide to right thinking and right doing). That is how Jesus lived, “I do nothing on my own authority, but only what I hear and see the Father doing.” And this is how He wants us to live. One example of Jesus doing only as the Father guided Him is when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick. Jesus did not go to visit the sick or go to heal him. He waited a few days, and when He heard from God it was time to go to Lazarus (Lazarus had now died), it was to raise him from the dead, not just heal him. Another example is the man who had sat by the Temple gate every day for many years (who had been lame from his mother’s womb), he was healed by John and Peter in the book of Acts. Jesus, I’m sure saw this man many times sitting by the Temple gate as He walked through it many times, but the Father did not want Jesus to do it but John and Peter later. Jesus listened to the Father and did not heal him and John and Peter listened to the Spirit and did heal him. This also must be our finest and purest goal, to hear and obey as the Spirit directs. We will fulfill all righteousness (helping the poor, helping orphans, visiting people in prison (as the Lord shows us when and how to do each of these and more). Maybe our ministry will be 3 years like Jesus or John the Baptist or maybe it will be 50 years, but each thing we do will be ordered by the Lord. Notice Moses, a certain kind of training for 40 years, then 40 years in the desert, then a different kind of work in his last 40 years.
Does this all seem a little shocking or does it seem to be an extreme idea? But let me go a step further, what I have said is just the beginning idea to grasp to begin this new walk with the Lord. Remember, we are to begin with this idea as our first and foremost goal no matter what we have done before or what we have been taught before. This will all lead to a complete revolution! A revolution in your prayer life and a revolution in what you have thought about how to serve God. Jesus wants you to have an intimate relationship with Him (an abiding like nothing you have ever known before), so that you will accomplish all that God has called you to do on this earth. You will learn about love like you have never known before. How can we come to really love God with all our heart and desire, He wants us to learn more about how much He loves us, and how can we love others in a way that we have never known before and is God’s greater goal for the Church?
Yes, there are some deeper insights ahead for us and some great revelations if we will walk through some of the things I have shared above.
Every person in the Bible needed to listen for God’s voice and do as they were directed so that they could accomplish what God put them on the earth to do. Abraham heard from God and did what He said, Moses heard from God and did what He said, the Apostle Paul heard from God and did what He said, each person was to walk close to god and hear His voice. But look at the life of Enoch, did he write a book, did he do miracles, what did God tell him to do? As the title of this writing states, “There is nothing that the Lord wants more than this,” what does the Lord want from us? He wants a relationship with us, not based on doing but on learning all that He wants to teach us. He can use one person for a time and then use another to accomplish His will. He can put our ministry on hold for a while just to teach us some important life lessons or develop our character. What did Enoch “do” that made him so precious to God that he did not die a natural death but God took him? What kind of walk did Enoch have with God that his whole life could be summed up in these words, “He walked with God and he pleased the heart of God?” It is so important to God our close walk with Him, we will learn a lot, we will become the precious work of art God wants us to be, all the fruit we are to produce will come from that close abiding, we will have the rich relationship with the Lord that is His true goal for every one of us.
Now, this may sound so simple and so easy, but it is not simple. Sometimes it is not easy to trust God when He has nothing for us to do right now. It is not easy to learn about love for others, it may take some stripping down of your ideas so that God can show you how to love. It may not be easy when you thought prayer times and service to God were one way and you had to un-learn so much to go God’s way.
Let me close with these thoughts. If you look carefully at the life of Abraham (one of the greatest servants of God and the father of our faith) you will see in 14 chapters of Genesis (chapters 12-25) it is recorded that God spoke to Abraham about 8 times. In his whole life (175 years) God probably spoke to him many other things, but everything God said to him is not recorded in the Bible, only the 8 times recorded. (Example: the first word was for Abraham to go from his country to a new place that “I will show you.” (Gen. 12:1-3) So Abraham left Haran, not knowing where he was going because God spoke to him.) We must desire for God to speak to us in our day and do only what He says. Can we write down 8 things that the Lord has said to us specifically like God did with Abraham? Are we clearly hearing what God wants us to do? Everyone in the Bible heard clear things that God wanted them to do, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Paul, etc. We must have and keep this attitude and goal clearly and purely in our hearts.
What else did God say to Abraham but let us note only what is recorded in the Bible? (Two more examples are in Gen. 12:7 and 13:14-17, the final word recorded in chapter 22 when the Lord wanted Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering). Yes, Abraham did what the Lord asked him to do but more than anything he believed God. Much of his life he did not see the promises of God come to be, he did not see his descendants become as the stars of heaven as yet. He believed God and this was counted to him as righteousness. So, we are back to, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” “Believe in the one that God has sent (believe in Me).”
Each one of us will have our own walk with the Lord and our own unique path. Sometimes we may have to go some years of just learning how to love our own family and learn the deep lessons of what love really is. We will be glad to learn how to pray and how to do only the things God says to do. But it is for God to decide what things we must go through to learn His ways, to form His character in us and to become the exquisite work of art He is creating in each of us for His glory. I for one have decided (as hard as it is sometimes) to listen for God’s voice and become somewhat like Enoch of the Bible. Hopefully God will one day say to each of us, “You walked with Me, I was able to teach you rich things, you pleased My heart, well done My good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of your Lord.”