by Brandy Webb
God desires none to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He desires all to come to repentance and to accept Christ as their Savior. He desires us to love Him with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 6:5; Joshua 22:5; Mark 12:30). He desires us to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31). He also desires us to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15), to serve (Galatians 5:13), to edify each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and many more Godly characteristics.
I don’t have all the answers—in fact, my knowledge is very small—but these are some of my ideas of characteristics that God desires in us. I guess, in the days leading up to the Passover and Unleavened Bread festival, my thoughts began turning more introspective of my conduct, and seeing if I am living a life that God desires for me to live. One major point hit me while I was studying, and that is, God does not desire us to get distracted and wrapped up in the cares of this life. The Messiah warns us to not let the things of this life/world weigh us down, for it can cause us to miss the day that He returns (Luke 21:34-36).
I know that life does stress me out sometimes with the news, economy, finances, etc. It is hard to not give into the carnal mindset of “How can I fix this?” However, I am reminded about the fact that when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years, God sustained them the entire time. God provided for all their needs the entire time. Their clothes lasted the entire time. They had food and water. They had protection, and all of this was provided by God. They did not provide anything of themselves. God took care of all of their needs.
God does not want us to get wrapped up in the cares of this life. He doesn’t want us to give into envy, selfish ambitions, worry, anxiety, stress, and anything else that is not of His Spirit. He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to be like a child. Children have this innate ability to trust their parents. I know from my own experience with my own children, how much they trust me with their lives. Children trust us that we will take care of them. I know that they aren’t old enough to be responsible for themselves. However, God, our Heavenly Father, is way more willing and able to take care of us, and He wants us to realize that. He wants us to trust Him to lift us up when we fall. He wants us to trust Him to carry us through the tough times. He wants us to trust Him to be there when we need Him. He wants us to trust Him to take care of all of our needs, and to be thankful that He is there for us.
Therefore, instead of wasting time worrying about the cares of this world, we should spend more time living out our faith. It would give us more time to edify others. It would give us more time to serve. It would give us more time to be joyful and thankful. It would give us more time to spend with our Father through His Spirit. It would also separate us from the ways of the world of gossiping, complaining, and stressing.
He desires a life for us where we are the salt of the earth and the light for the world (Matthew 5:13-14). I know it is not easy. I have yet to come close to practicing this on a daily basis. I know it is hard to overcome my carnal flesh. I know it is hard to be different. However, I serve a God for Whom nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26); therefore, through Him I can overcome (Philippians 4:13). The truth is, God wants us to follow in the footsteps of the Messiah. He wants us to walk humbly with Him, to love mercy and justice, and to spread the gospel in a loving way that can help save the lost and uplift the downtrodden. So, we need to let go of the cares of this world, trust God in everything, and live out our faith, so that others can ask us what is the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15).