Dear Muslim and Christian friends,
I’ve been thinking a lot in the last few days about this question:
What does God really want from people?
I am certainly no expert in the Qur’an but I think I can speak a little bit from what the Bible has to say in response to this all-important, eternally significant question.
From the beginning, God has always asked his people to love Him:
“The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” (The Tawrat, Deuteronomy 6:4-6)
Isa Al Masih – Jesus – confirmed this in his teachings:
“. . .you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (The Injil, Mark 12:30)
But what does this love for God look like? How is it expressed and made visible in every day life?
I know there are many ways, but I want to mention just four that are on my mind:
#1 – WORSHIP
At all times, the Creator deserves our praise and worship – for who He is and what He has done for us. There is no doubt in my mind that worship means more to God when we are experiencing times of great difficulty and deep pain. To praise and worship Him in those hours of perplexing darkness lets Him know that we truly love him with all our hearts. If your parent or your child died, if your husband or your wife died, could you say these words with the ancient man, Job?
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
#2 – TRUST
When God brought the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt, He did so with amazing miracles, not the least of which was the parting of the Red Sea. Then, as they traveled through the desert, He miraculously provided both water and food. In spite of seeing this kind provision over and over, they doubted Him when times became difficult. They quickly forgot His miracles and refused to trust Him after all he had done (see the Zabur, Psalm 78)! If there’s one thing I know, it’s that God wants us to love him by trusting Him – no matter how difficult or dark our situation is. As King Sulaiman – Solomon – said:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
#3 – OBEDIENCE
You may have heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” That’s so true, isn’t it? “Faith – without works – is dead” (James 2:26). We can talk all we want about how much we love God. We can boast about our faith. But in the end, our love for God is proven by our obedience. Jesus himself said:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)
#4 – BELIEF
So often we think we can work our way to Paradise. But Jesus said there is only one work that God really wants from us:
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one (Jesus) he has sent.” (The Injil, John 6:29)
This is how we prove that we love God.
And I believe this is what He really wants from us.