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.}

Dozing Church…”zzzzzzz”

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[excerpts from Causes of a Dozing Church | A.W. Tozer]

What is the present condition of the evangelical church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. I do not mean that the bulk of Christians who come to evangelical churches are not converted, because if I meant that I would say they were dead and never had been born again. But I say they are asleep. It is possible to be morally asleep yet mentally, intellectually, physically and theologically alert.

The present condition is that we are asleep. These sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic, and if we do not like a pastor we give him the bounce or pray that he will get another call. Then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we do not want. Church people control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake, but they may be morally and spiritually asleep. That is, they are so far down in the rut that they do not see up.

Many people who are asleep control church affairs. It gets into whole conferences. Representatives will meet at the expense of the local church people. They will read minutes and pass resolutions, but they are asleep. You know they are asleep by the way they talk as soon as the benediction is pronounced and they have adjourned. You know they are asleep by their conduct, the things they are interested in or lack interest in, yet they control church affairs.

The second thing sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians. When you bring in a newly converted Christian, he or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood and temperature of the solemn seats around him or her. Pretty soon he or she is where they are, and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.


  • Revelation 3:14-16 says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
  • Matthew 7:16-17 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (also see verses 20-25; 16:24; 10:38).
  • Isaiah 29:13 ” Then the Lord said, Because this people draw near with their words, and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
  • Titus 1:16 “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?”
  • Huge warnings for us to look at ourselves–daily heart checks in order!

Dozing Church…”zzzzzzz”

photo_20171027_0107151040650495.png

[excerpts from Causes of a Dozing Church | A.W. Tozer]

What is the present condition of the evangelical church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. I do not mean that the bulk of Christians who come to evangelical churches are not converted, because if I meant that I would say they were dead and never had been born again. But I say they are asleep. It is possible to be morally asleep yet mentally, intellectually, physically and theologically alert.

The present condition is that we are asleep. These sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic, and if we do not like a pastor we give him the bounce or pray that he will get another call. Then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we do not want. Church people control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake, but they may be morally and spiritually asleep. That is, they are so far down in the rut that they do not see up.

Many people who are asleep control church affairs. It gets into whole conferences. Representatives will meet at the expense of the local church people. They will read minutes and pass resolutions, but they are asleep. You know they are asleep by the way they talk as soon as the benediction is pronounced and they have adjourned. You know they are asleep by their conduct, the things they are interested in or lack interest in, yet they control church affairs.

The second thing sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians. When you bring in a newly converted Christian, he or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood and temperature of the solemn seats around him or her. Pretty soon he or she is where they are, and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.


  • Revelation 3:14-16 says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” 
  • Matthew 7:16-17 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (also see verses 20-25; 16:24; 10:38).
  • Isaiah 29:13 ” Then the Lord said, Because this people draw near with their words, and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverance for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
  • Titus 1:16 “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?”
  • Huge warnings for us to look at ourselves–daily heart checks in order