First, let us define the word require: “To demand; to ask, as of right and by authority” [Webster’s].
There are still some “religious” people that think pleasing God means only we accept His love and/or accept Jesus into your heart. Some also believe that since we serve a loving God (1John 4:8, 16), no one will be condemned to hell. There are so many scriptures that prove those beliefs wrong that it would take days, if not months, of study to cover them all. This study will therefore focus on one aspect of that study; what God requires.
Moses, by inspiration, wrote the following: “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). If you want to be pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6) then doing what God requires is not a hard thing; all it takes is the following:
- Fear Him → Certainly this entails some dread, some amount of being afraid. But is also includes reverence. Proverbs 1:7 tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” If having knowledge of the power of God and what He can do to and for you doesn’t make you afraid, then it is not likely you be much good to Him.
- To walk in all His ways → The word “walk,” as used here, means to be along side of, to go forth with, to behave. In other words, walking in the ways of God is doing those things that God wants us to do. The only way for us to know what God wants us to do is reading or hearing His words contained in the Bible. We all grow up being taught to do what our parents tell us to do. How much more should we be doing the things that our Heavenly Father wants us to do.
- To love Him → God does not leave us to wonder about how to show our love for Him: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments” (1John 5:2). It is not enough to say we love God, we must also act by doing those things He wants us to do. The wise King Solomon wrote that the whole duty of man is to “Fear God, and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
- To serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul → There was a time when a lawyer, wanting to test Jesus, asked our Lord saying, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” His answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38). God wants all of our being. He wants our service and reverence 24 hours a day. God in fact wants us to serve Him because we love Him and not because we are afraid. Every moment of every day should be consumed with what we can do for our God. Even while at our jobs, our thoughts should center on how we might glorify His name.
All of us live with “requirements” every day. Our family requires our love and attention. Our jobs require that we be on time and do acceptable work. Our friends require that we spend some time with them. The government requires that we obey the laws and pay our taxes. Is it so hard to believe that the Lord requires certain things from us?
In Christ, Steve Preston