What Does God Want?

This devotional clip was written by David Bowden author of When God Isn’t There. You can read more of this devotional through YouVersion titled Rewire Your Heart.


What is God after? What does He want from us? Is He after a song on Sunday or a really good prayer at night? I think we all know the answer is no.

God is after our hearts.

One of the clearest moments in the Bible where we learn this truth is in Isaiah. God is describing through his prophet a siege that is coming upon Jerusalem.

However, no matter how much the people hear of Isaiah’s words and God’s revelation, they will not really listen. They will be like a person who is given a book but cannot open it and like one who is given a book but cannot read (29:11-12).

So why this coming punishment? And why can’t the people understand the visions and warnings from God?

Here is where we get our clear picture of what God is after. Here is the reason.

“Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me” (29:13).

  • God is punishing and blinding His people because they are putting on a show of religion, but their hearts are not in it.
  • They come to God and give Him praise and say all the right words, but God does not have their innermost selves — their hearts.

God wants your heart, not your lips. He wants your affections, passions, desires, and longings. God wants your wants. And he will not be satisfied until he has them.

Why? Because He knows that only when you desire Him will you be desiring something good. And not only will you be desiring something good, in fact the only good, but also the best good. God wants your wants because He wants your good.

And how will He get your heart? Well, how did He plan to get the hearts of His wayward people in Isaiah’s day?

He will do wonderful things (29:14). But these wonderful things aren’t pretty. These are things that bring wonder. Things like punishment and mighty acts of judgement. The reason why people were drawing near to God with their lips but not their hearts was because their fear of God was fake. It was a “commandment taught by men” (29:13).

So God would instill true fear in their hearts. This may sound harsh, but God wanted their hearts. So He would reveal Himself to them in the only way that would change them.

God changes hearts the same way today. He shows himself to us in wonderful ways. And the most wonderful way He has revealed Himself to us is also in judgement and punishment. But this time, the judgement and punishment did not come upon us who deserved it. God’s wrath came upon Jesus, who bore our punishment even though he did not deserve it.

  • Is your heart far from God even though your lips are close to Him?
  • Do you want to change that?
  • Behold Jesus!
  • See how God has revealed Himself to you in Christ!
  • Let the fear and love of God pierce your heart by peering deeply into the truth of the Gospel.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}