WHAT GOD WANTS FROM YOU
By Dr. Richard Ing
The greatest need among Christians is not human compassion,
feeding the poor, or even casting out devils.
The greatest need today is obedience to God. The most important thing Jesus did when He
walked the earth, was not His compassion for the less fortunate and spending
time with them, or telling them that they mattered.
The most important thing He taught us was obedience to the
Father's will. The Lord Jesus said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do
mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me." Jn. 6:38.
"Not every one that saith
unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth
the will of My Father which is in heaven." Mt. 7:21.
I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father
do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Jn. 5:19.
"I can of mine own self do
nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine
own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me. If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is
not true." Jn. 5:30-31.
"I came down from
heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me." Jn. 6:38.
"I do nothing of myself; but
as my Father hath taught Me, I speak these things." Jn. 8:28.
"I speak that which I have
seen with My Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father
(Jesus chided the Pharisees by intimating that their father was the devil. Verse 44).
In other words, the Lord Jesus said nothing except what the
Father told Him to say, and He did nothing on His own, but only what the Father
showed Him to do. He went to the cross
and suffered and died for our sins and had love and compassion for us in so
doing. But what drove Him to the cross
was the will of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked that the bitter
cup of the cross be taken away if possible.
"O My Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou
wilt." Mt.26:39. As soon as He knew the Father's will was that
He be crucified, Jesus said to His disciples,
"Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me." Mt. 26:46.
In the last analysis, it was obedience to the Father that led Jesus to
Feeding the poor, healing the sick and showing love is
important, but even more important is doing the will of God in heaven. The Bible says that there was a man lame from
birth who was daily laid at the gate called Beautiful, to beg alms of them that
entered into the temple. Peter and John
came upon him after Jesus had returned to heaven and healed the man. Ac. 3:1-7.
Jesus must have seen the man many times as Jesus went to the temple
often. Yet, Jesus never healed the man.
In the episode of Lazarus, where Jesus was told that His
cousin was sick, Jesus did not run to pray for Lazarus. In fact, He went further away to another
town. After He received reports that
Lazarus had died, He then went to visit Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. Why?
You would think that Jesus should have hurried to Lazarus' side to heal
him; but Jesus had heard from the Father and knew that Lazarus was going to be
raised from the dead to glorify God. Jn.
11:1-44. Before that, Jesus wept to see
how Lazarus' family and friends sorrowed over Lazarus' death. Compassion was not the issue. Obedience to the Father was.
Satan is not afraid of Christians who sacrifice time, money
and effort towards the church. He is
afraid of Christians that know how to obey God.
"Hath the Lord as great
delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the
Lord? Behold, to obey is better than
sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Sa. 15:22.
People will donate large sums of money, spend much time doing things for
the church and attending meetings - anything to avoid obeying God. One can do his own thing and pretend that he
is doing it for God. Truth is that he is
doing it for himself to assuage his guilt and justify his disobedience in other
matters. Very few Christians seek the
will of God so that they can obey. Most
want to control their own lives in a false sense of security.
Satan knows that the natural and carnal man can never please
God. The carnal man is enmity against
God. Ro. 8:7-9; 1 Co.
2:14-15. Only spirit man can receive
from God, including the daily and specific will of God. Love for God and His ways and will, is higher
than human compassion and love for the less fortunate. Ps. 119.
You can feed the poor and orphaned, take care of widows,
have compassion for the homosexuals and so forth, but is it the will of God in
terms of how, when, where, what and to whom?
Is it the time? There are many
missionaries in the jungles of Africa or the Amazon Basin
that were never sent by God. There are
many pastors that have never been called by God to be shepherds. There are many Christians that don't have any
idea or intention of obeying the pastor.
Week after week, the pastor or the church newsletter or bulletin board
announces that there will be a prayer session or fasting or teaching during the
week; yet, hardly anyone attends. If it
were Jesus standing in church and announcing that He will teach on Tuesday
night, pray with the people on Wednesday night, fast and pray with them on
Friday night, every single member would be there - one hour ahead of time and
with their friends and neighbors. The
Bible teaches that obedience to God's delegated authority is obedience to God,
and vice versa. Who cares?
I have often heard Christians pray and ask for more faith
and power. They desire to hear the voice
of God. What for? Why would God give them faith and power when
they are not going to do anything with it but glorify themselves? People also pray and ask God to show them
what He wants them to do or what His will is for their life. Why would God lay out His plan to someone who
is not going to obey anyway?
Yes, the Bible does tell us the general and overall will of
God, but it's like saying that overall I'm a good guy. How, when, where, what or to whom is another
question. If you're not seeking God's
specific will, you are doing your own thing.
It will never get you to heaven, rack up points or lay up treasures in
It is not true that Jesus hardly ever preached
repentance. Repentance was one of His
main commands. His very first message
was repentance. "From that time Jesus began to preach,
and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Mt. 4:17.
That passage presupposed that it was only the beginning. He began to say, "Repent!" and He
continued to say "Repent!" until the very end. In the Book of Revelation, He told six out of
His seven churches to repent in Chapters Two and Three. Repentance is necessary for salvation and the
apostles continued to preach repentance.
Jesus spent much time pointing out the sins and hypocrisies of the
temple leaders and the people.
Acknowledging sin is the first step to repentance. When someone points out what they think is
sin on your part, the worse thing you could do is deny it. Even if you don’t believe that you have
sinned, humble yourself and repent or ask forgiveness from the person who was