Hidden Nuggets Series #104 – “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
At some point you’ve probably asked the question, What does God want me to do? You may have thought about it in relation to your life in general or because of some problem or big decision you were facing. Either way, it seems like a difficult question to answer. How can we figure out what the God of the universe wants for us?
One of the things I love about the Bible is its clarity. Sure it has some cryptic passages and certain issues require a lot of study. But not when it comes to figuring out this question. God’s answers are clear, concise and to the point.
The answer to the question What does God want me to do, initially depends on where you are at in your life. If you don’t have a relationship with Him there is a first step He wants for you. After that, there are two other steps He’d have you take. I’ll take them one at a time.
What Does God Want Me to Do First?
More than anything, God wants to have a relationship with you. He loves you more than anything and wants you to experience that love. In order to have that love, you must first believe that His Son, Jesus Christ, died to redeem you from your sin.
God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for you. John 3:16-17 puts it this way,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Jesus came to save you. But why did he need to do that? What is it about my life that needs saving?
Put simply, God is perfect and we are not. Romans 3:23 says, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That sin causes a spiritual separation that needs to be fixed if I am ever going to have a right standing before God.
Romans 6:23 says, “…For the wages [penalty] of [our] sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus’ death on the cross and our belief in Him became the way we could bridge the gap between ourselves and God. By believing and accepting Jesus as our Savior we enjoy the reward of eternity in heaven with God.
God wants to have a relationship with you. That’s the first thing he wants you to do with your life. He will be patient. As II Peter 3:9 tells us he doesn’t want any to perish without knowing Him. He wants all to come to repentance and acceptance of who He is.
I hope you have already believed and have given your life to God. If you have, then there is a second thing He wants you to do with your life.
What Does God Want Me to Do Second?
One day Jesus was having a conversation with some religious leaders. One of the leaders came to Jesus with a simple question. He asked Jesus, “Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
Now the question was simple but tricky. There were hundreds of laws laid out in the Bible for the Jews to follow. How could Jesus narrow it down to one great commandment that was better than all the rest?
Well he didn’t pick one. Instead, He summarized the entire law in two statements. He said,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-38)
Jesus’ answer to these religious leaders was applicable then and it’s applicable to us today. It serves as the second thing God wants you to do with your life. If you’ve already believed in Jesus, then the next steps are pretty clear. We are to:
- Love God with all our heart, soul and mind and…
- Love our neighbor (all people) as we love ourselves.
If we do those two things, we are living out the essence of what God wants for us. By loving God with all our being, we will choose to follow Him only and be obedient to His words in the Bible. By loving others, we have the chance to be used by God to bring other people to the knowledge of Him.
Not that these two things are easy mind you. We have issues [i.e. sin, habits, other desires] that get in the way of and disrupt our love for God. And we have things that get in the way of and hinder us from loving those around us.
However, those two things are clearly His desire for us. Jesus said all the laws and prophecies of the Bible have their origin in those two commands. If we try our best to fulfill both of them, we will be right on track to doing what God wants.
But what about all the difficult circumstances in life where we don’t know what to do? God has an answer for that to although it’s not going to be the same for all of us.
What Does God Want Me to Do Third?
The third instance where we might ask the What does God want me to do? question is when we are facing a difficult decision in our life. Maybe you are looking at where to go to college or who to marry or what career decision to make. Perhaps you have a challenging situation with a family member or friend and you don’t know what path to take. Or maybe you are struggling with some other personal issue and feel directionless and that there is no way out.
The challenge with difficult life decisions is that no one other person can tell you exactly what to do. You can seek counsel from others but the decision has to come from you. Fortunately, for those that have a relationship with God, He’s provided us a path to get there.
If you don’t know what to do, follow the directions of James 1:5. Here James writes,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
When you don’t know what God wants you to do with your life, the first step to figuring it out HAS to be praying for wisdom. And, according to the verse, what’s the clear promise when we do pray for it? Wisdom – given liberally by God – to make the right decision.
God will guide us into the right answer when we ask. He won’t disappoint. The understanding of the answer may take some time but God will direct our thoughts if we let Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 puts it this way,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When we pray and ask for help in making a decision, God will grant us wisdom. And He will also give us something that can’t be explained – His peace. It’s a peace we can’t understand. We can’t comprehend it. But we can feel it. We can know it. We can experience it.
And it’s in those moments of peace, after much prayer and contemplation, that the answer to your difficult life circumstance comes.
What does God want me to do with my life? Clearly he wants me to know Him. After that happens, I’ll serve Him with all I’ve got and love others.
And when those challenging moments come, turn to Him in prayer for the answers. Pray, pray, pray for wisdom and be patient for the answer. His promise is that He’ll guide us each step of the way.
Questions: Have you given your life over to God? If not, what’s holding you back? Are you dealing with a difficult circumstance right now? Have you ever felt God wasn’t really helping you reach a decision? What can we do more of to show love to those around us?