Recently going through some portions of the Bible made me to pause and ask a question, what does God want from us? In one place God gives commandments about certain sacrifices but in other places He tells the people why are you observing these commandments? And His response is shocking; God says, ‘I don’t need it’, ‘Take away from here’; ‘stop doing it’; ‘It is detestable to me’. (Exodus 12, Leviticus 1,16 cf. Isaiah 1:11-14; 66:3; Micah 6:6-8).
Is God confused? Has God changed His mind or is God looking for something else?
In our daily life we also try to please God literally obeying commandments, even helping the needy, feeding the poor or doing justice. When we do these somewhere we feel that God is smiling at us. It is true that God is happy but it can also be true that God may be unhappy with us. If He is unhappy, what is He really looking for? Does God need anything from us?
God is all-sufficient and He is complete within Himself. He doesn’t need anything from us that He does not have. “The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is he served by men’s hands, AS THOUGH HE NEEDED ANYTHING, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things (Acts 17:24-25 ASV). God does not need smallest thing from us because He is the creator and owner of all things in this universe (Psalm 50:8-15).
A. W. Tozer in his book, ‘Knowledge of the Holy’ says, “God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself”.
Righteous cannot increase the power of God nor does the wicked take away the power of God. God will be God forever regardless of what a man does or does not do. He is self-sustained in no way relying on man (Job 35:6,7).
God may use human beings to complete certain tasks, but he never needs them. He allows them to participate with him in the affairs of the world, but only out of his good pleasure. Whenever humans start to think they are indispensable to God, a prideful fall is sure to follow.
Does God need our worship? God desires our worship not because of a need because He is love. As a father loves his children, God derives infinite joy when we praise and worship Him from our heart. It is not just for our sake that God wants to be worshiped; he takes delight in our worship (Ps. 44:3, Prov. 15:8, Isa. 62:4).
God needs only one thing from us, a heart overflowing with love. All our obedience, saying and being must rise out of a heart of love. It is not the amount of sacrifices that we make, the time that we give, the labor that we do that brings delight to God. It is when we offer to Him small or big from a heart of love that brings joy to the heart of God. Love moves God (John 3:16). This kind of love transforms people and the world around us.
In Genesis 4, Abel and Cain offered worship. God didn’t receive the worship of Cain because it was not from a heart of love. The results that followed worship tell us Cain’s heart was not right with God. In the temple many put large sums of money in the offering box. But Jesus accepted and valued the offering of the poor widow who gave two copper coins (Mark 12:41-44). It was not because it was from a poor widow or her amount was the least. It was not even she gave all that she had to live on. You can give all that you have and deliver even your body to be burned for God. But if you do not have love, you gain nothing (I Cor.13:3). Jesus delighted in her giving because she gave from a heart of love.
Another woman took an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus. People who saw this condemned her and saw it as a big waste but Jesus appreciated and blessed her because she did it out of love (Luke 7:36-50). A rich young ruler came to Jesus with great enthusiasm to inherit eternal life. He boasted of his legalistic life. Jesus knew his heart’s condition and he had to go away sad. Whether small or big, from rich or poor, secretly or publicly, what matters to God is whether it is an overflow of a heart of love.
This God who created all the planets and the galaxies cannot be pleased with works. Because all our work put together cannot come anywhere near to what He has done for us. God is delighted when we walk in obedience willingly from a heart of love. C.S. Lewis said it beautifully, “In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled; only plenteousness that desires to give.” He is able to give because He loves us and He responds to what comes with love.
It is through this love relationship we can grow in true obedience and holiness. If we are not growing in love relationship with God we will live a life of performance, which God hates. This kind of life leads to guilt, condemnation and bondage. It is a very stressful life, which is very common among men today. But if we walk in love there is peace, joy and freedom.
God wants you to walk in love relationship with Him and others. Whatever you say, do and be let it spring out of a deep love from God.