If you want to know what God wants, the best place to find out is in the Bible. One morning I was reading one of the psalms and God clearly spelled out what He wanted from His people. “O my people, listen as I speak. Here are my charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your God! I have no
complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly bring to my altar. But I want no more bulls from your barns; I want no more goats from your pens. For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. Every bird of the mountains and all the
animals of the field belong to me. If I were hungry, I would not mention it to you, for all the world is mine and everything in it. I don’t need the bulls you sacrifice; I don’t need the blood of goats. What I want instead is your true thanks to God; I want you to fulfill your vows to the Most High. Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” (Psalm 50:7-15).
God has the same message for us today. He doesn’t want our sacrifices which would be our time, services, tithes and offerings. These should already belong to Him. What He wants is our gratitude. He wants us to give thanks with grateful hearts for all the things He has done for us. King David said a wonderful prayer to God, praising Him. “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you have already given us!” (1 Chronicles 29:13, 14). Then he encouraged the people to praise God. David trusted God in times of trouble. He declared, “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He delivered me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me” (2 Samuel 22:17, 18).
When it comes to making promises to the Lord, King Solomon’s advice to us is, “So when you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to promise something that you don’t follow through on. In such cases, your mouth is making you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6). God never goes back on His promises to us so we should not go back on our promises to Him.
We are to give God glory when He delivers us from our troubles. David did. He said to the people, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!” (1 Chronicles 16:8-10).
After Jesus healed the demon possessed man, He said to him, “No, go home to your friends, and tell them what wonderful things the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them” (Mark 5:19, 20).
God wants us to give Him glory by telling people what He has done in our lives. He wants more than our time, effort, service, tithes, offerings, prayers. He wants us to turn to Him when we are in trouble, trusting Him to help us out and then telling everyone about it afterwards. And He wants us to remain true to our word. Don’t make empty promises. Think about how you would feel if someone you loved made a promise and then broke it. Just as it hurts when it happens to you, it hurts God when you do it to Him. Now you that you know what God wants, you can say to Him, “Lord, I delight to do Your will” (Psalm 40:8).