What does God want me to do?
People who heard the gospel on Pentecost cried out: What should we do? (Acts 2:37).
This is a good question -- also for Christians. Instead of doing what we want to do, we should continually ask ourselves: What does God want me to do?
How can we know what God wants us to do? Only through the holy Scriptures. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
As we study the Scriptures we should ask ourselves, What does God want me to do?
The Scriptures are full of instructions for daily living. Jesus tells us to follow Him, to repent, to bear fruit, to be meek, to hunger for righteousness, to be merciful, to be pure in heart, to be peacemakers, to do good, not to call anyone a fool, not to commit adultery, not to look at a woman lustfully, not to divorce our spouses without a valid reason, not to swear, not to resist one who is evil, to go the second mile, to love our enemies, to be perfect like our Father, not to be religious for show, to forgive, not to lay up treasures on earth but in heaven, not to serve money, not to be anxious about physical needs, to seek God's kingdom and righteousness first, not to judge, to do to others as we want them to do to us, to do what He says and not just listen, to be wise as serpents and harmless of doves, to endure to the end, to be like Him, to preach the gospel, to mention just a few items from the first ten chapters of Matthew.
Let us examine just three of these points.
God wants me to follow Christ.
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men' (Matthew 4:18, 19).
Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, 'Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' Then another of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, let me first go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead' (Matthew 8:19- 22).
Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me' (Matthew 16:24). And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me (Matthew 10:38).
Jesus said to him, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me' (Matthew 19:21).
God wants me to be meek.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
To be meek is to be mild tempered, soft, gentle, humble, lowly, unpretentious, yielding, not easily provoked or irritated, enduring injury with patience and without resentment.
Is this the way we tend to be? Is this the way the world thinks people should be? The world tells us that we should be self-assertive, stand up for our rights, not allow others to get the best of us. But God wants me to be meek.
This is part of following Christ, for He said: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
Meek is the best way to be. If we are self-assertive and aggressive, others will resist us and try to beat us down.
Meekness must be genuine. Some people appear meek as a lamb when all is going their way, but if something irritates them they begin to snarl and snap and growl like a vicious wolf.
Meekness can be learned. It is not how we tend to be. To have peace for our souls we must follow Christ and learn to be gentle and lowly in heart. Our glorious King came to us lowly, riding on a donkey (Matthew 21:5).
God wants me to be merciful.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).
To be merciful is to have a kind, compassionate and forgiving attitude that overlooks injuries and does not give deserved punishment.
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Matthew 9:13).
Jesus refers to Hosea 6:4-6.
O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
O Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud,
And like the early dew it goes away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And your judgments are like light that goes forth.
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
A similar thought is found in Micah 6:6-8.
With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Jesus also referred to this principle when His disciples were condemned by the Pharisees for plucking grain on the Sabbath: But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless (Matthew 12:7).
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (Matthew 23:23,24).
God wants me to be merciful. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).
What does God want me to do? I must continually study the Scriptures to find out. We have examined three things from the book of Matthew. Although sermons and group Bible studies are helpful, we must all spend time studying the Scriptures ourselves to learn all that God wants us to do.
God wants me to follow Christ, to be meek and to be merciful.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive