That’s a question a lot of people ask . . . What does God want from us? What do I have to do to get His attention? What do I need to do to get Him to do what I want?
Well, first, we can’t manipulate God. And we always have His attention. Scripture is full of examples of those two facts. But today I read Isaiah (yes, I’m still in Isaiah) 58 and it’s amazing how CLEAR God is about what He expects of His people. (not necessarily about what He expects of those who are NOT called His people – I think maybe it’s because He doesn’t expect ANYTHING of those who are not His people.)
He does not expect His people to follow man made rules. Not even those rules that man created out of scripture. In Isaiah 58 God said He was TIRED of all the fasting the Israelites were doing. They fasted and then lived anyway they please and expected God to bless them because of their fast.
He says in this chapter that if we want to do what pleases Him, what gets His attention, then we need to forget the ritual (like going to church just to go to church or taking communion or getting baptized because we think that’s what will save us). He’s not interested in the ritual, He’s interested in how much we loved someone besides ourselves. He’s not impressed with our appearance of “righteousness,” but in how we look at others. He’s doesn’t care how many rules we follow, but in how much we follow HIM.
THEN . . . after we’ve been what God wants us to be . . . THEN he will pour out His blessing on us. He’ll give us everything we need and more, He’ll take care of those things that we think He doesn’t even see.
Think about it, why should we expect God’s justice and grace to fall on us, when we don’t pass it along to others.