What Does God Want from Us? EGP Blog post from December 1, 2013

Psalm 50:16–23 (NLT)

[16] But God says to the wicked: “Recite my laws no longer, and don’t pretend that you obey me. [17] For you refuse my discipline and treat my laws like trash. [18] When you see a thief, you help him, and you spend your time with adulterers. [19] Your mouths are filled with wickedness, and your tongues are full of lies. [20] You sit around and slander a brother-your own mother’s son. [21] While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you. [22] Repent, all of you who ignore me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you. [23] But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

While many treat the Old Testament like God had a bad day and then in the New Testament He changed His mind, the truth is that the core message never changed. God doesn’t want people to pretend to obey Him. He doesn’t want people to praise Him with their mouths and curse Him in their hearts (Isaiah 29:13, Mark 7:6–7). He doesn’t want people to do as they please and then hope that their “good deeds” and “sacrifices” will balance it out in the end…that’s karma, not Christ (Isaiah 64:6–8).

To this day, people want to pick and choose which of God’s laws and Christ’s messages apply, while throwing the rest away. They think that just because God doesn’t explicitly rebuke them right here and now, that they are in the right or that He doesn’t mind. But, the message is still the same…repent and He will show you the Way to His Salvation. We must recognize that our way of doing things doesn’t work.

Proverbs 14:12 (NASB)

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

People think, “Well, if God is love and Jesus preached love, then He’ll accept me (and everyone else) in the end with open arms.” But, quite possibly the most sobering part of this passage is where it says to those who ignore Him, “I will tear you apart, and no one will help you.” It literally says “no one will deliver you” or “there will be no Deliverer for you.” He wants a changed heart and mind, but even in that you could argue that He brings about the major changes in mindset and desires and that He just wants us to have the initial change from our selfish ways to wanting Him and what He wants and the rest of the change is part of our journey with Him.

Psalm 51:15–17 (NLT)

[15] Unseal my lips, O Lord, that I may praise you. [16] You would not be pleased with sacrifices, or I would bring them. If I brought you a burnt offering, you would not accept it. [17] The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.