Of the many things I have heard people ask on their faith journey, the one that seems most prominent is this: “What does God want from me?”
This desire to know what God expects is normal. It is also good for us to consider. If we want to understand what we are supposed to do now that we have a relationship with God, then reflecting on this topic is important.
What I find to be most challenging in the discussion is, too often, we are talking about what God wants with a proper frame of reference. We want an answer but we have fully appreciated what God has already done to point us in the right direction. This is where the Gospel helps us know what God is “looking for.”
The Gospel’s requirements are the way we know what God wants. By starting where God starts with regard to our reconciliation with Him, we can better understand how we please God with our lives.
In order for us to have a relationship with God, our sins must be addressed. This is the impediment that keeps us from God. Jesus entered the world, died, was buried, and was raised on the third day for our redemption. If we put our trust in Jesus and his work, we will be saved. This salvation is the gift of God to those who no longer depend on themselves, but have instead accepted the power of the blood of Jesus to cover the effects of sin.
These are the essential realities of the Gospel. Any one of these realities could take multiple volumes to fully tease out. But for our purposes, this provides an overview of what God has done and what we must accept.
One of the great challenges here is that in order for any of this to happen, we have to accept what God has said is the problem. We have to agree with God that our sin is the principal hindrance to our relationship with Him. And, to go one step further, we have to acknowledge that we cannot overcome this obstacle in our own strength or authority.
So, what is it that the Gospel requires? It actually requires only one thing. The Gospel requires humility.
The Gospel is a constant reminder that only God could save us. Only God could restore us. Only God could provide the means of return to Him.
But if we refuse to accept God’s plan, if we demand for God to alter what He has provided, we are not functioning out of humility. We are operating out of pride.
Bishop Luis Scott has often said the Church is the only place where the price of membership is standing up and admitting there’s something wrong with you. In every other institution, we are presenting our best face. We are putting the highlights of our successes. But not in the Church.
Humility is the price of entry. This is what the Gospel requires. That we would agree with God regarding our needs. And that we would accept what God has provided as the remedy for that need.