What does God want from me?

Autumn 22

Our thinking about life with God inevitably confronts us with this crucial question: What does God want from me? When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, he answered clearly: love God with all you have. If we asked Jesus, What does God want from me? I believe he would answer, God wants you to know and to love him. This narrative tells of a God who is loving and merciful, whose desire is to love and to be loved. This in no way negates the fact that God is unflinchingly against sin. God hates sin because it hurts his children. But God is crazy about his children.

The Westminster Larger Catechism, written in 1648, opens with a question and an answer:

Question: What is the chief and highest end of man?

Answer: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.

I love the concept of fully enjoying God forever. Do you think that God wants you to enjoy him? Though many people do not believe this, I think it is what God most wants. Julian of Norwich once wrote: “The greatest honor we can give God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.” That statement shocked me when I first read it. The greatest honor we can give God? Isn’t it to die for him on the mission field? Julian offers another narrative: “What God most wants is to see you smile because you know how much God loves you.” My mission-field narrative does not describe a God I would naturally love. Julian’s narrative tells me of a God I cannot help but love. The God Julian knew is a God who delights in us.

—James Bryan Smith,
The Good and Beautiful God

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Loved

magical-forest copy

In his love he wraps and holds us.
He enfolds us for love,
and he will never let us go.

–Julian of Norwich
(1342 – c. 1416)

Published in: on 06/09/2013 at 14:21  Leave a Comment  
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Built in desires

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It is part of our human nature to desire God,
and it is part of God’s nature to desire us.
We can never stop yearning for God
until we are possessed by God
in the fulness of love.

–Julian of Norwich (1342 – c. 1416)
Revelations of Divine Love
Paraphrase by Ralph Milton

Live gladly

The greatest honor we can give
to God is to live gladly because
of the knowledge of his love.

–Julian of Norwich (1342-1416)

Published in: on 03/23/2012 at 8:37  Leave a Comment  
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The greatest hindrance

Some of us believe that God is almighty and can do everything; and that he is all-wise and may do everything; but that he is all-love and will do everything—there we draw back. As I see it, this ignorance is the greatest of all hindrances of God’s lovers.

–Julian of Norwich

Published in: on 03/05/2012 at 6:06  Leave a Comment  
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