What Does God Want From His Children

What does God want from His Children?

By Bill Irwin


 II Chronicles  7:14 ;“If my children , who are called by my name, will humble themselves and Pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

John 14:23 – 28, (NLT), “Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you.  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.  Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am.”

I have found that in the spiritual realm  God wants five things from each of His children; a small amount of time, reading His Word, and praying our hearts to Him,  an attitude of gratitude in all things, humility in spirit, obedience to His Word, and last but not least, repentance when we sin, which is daily for us all, regardless of how mature we may think we are in Christ.  If you examine this you will quickly see that this is a tall order as each of these things is difficult to do, but when we show God that we are moving in the direction of obedience to these commands then His Holy Spirit kicks in the power to continue until we have it down pat most of the time.  You see, He knows our hearts and when we are sincere about doing our best in these areas then we begin to grow that way and become obedient to this difficult list of items He wants from us, one little bit at a time.  And as we do these things all of them begin to grow in us and we become more in love with Christ each day that passes.  This growth facilitates  a stronger and increased desire of more and more of each of these items in our lives.


The man who led me to the Lord told me that two minutes a day would do the trick, and he was exactly right.  I began with that and within a month I was so much more  in love with Christ that I was spending most of my waking hours in basking in His Word, praying, and talking with fellow believers about Him and I wanted more and more.  He revealed Himself more and more to me as time passed.

While hiking the Appalachian Trail I spent all my waking hours walking and talking with Him and my faith began to grow until about half way through I realized that I was no longer afraid of the weather, poisonous snakes, other wild animals, or much of anything else.  I realized that I was basking in Him to the tune of more than twelve hours each day and began to wonder how in the world I could keep this up when the hike was complete; I couldn’t possibly do this, but God completely understands this as He is in charge of our life circumstances and limits most things that take us away from what He wants from each of us as we walk through the difficulties of this life.  As we grow more and more mature in love with Him, the more He blesses us with His promises.  I have never, ever, heard anyone say that He has ever broken a single promise to anyone, and I never will, because my God is perfect in everything!

And you can take that one to the bank!   

At this point I stopped being concerned about what was going to happen to my quality time with Him when it was all over and my task was completed

Now as I work each day I must take some time to spend with Him, and it varies from a half hour to a few hours, depending on how much time I have, but one thing for sure if I don’t spend any time with Him, my day doesn’t go well at all.  When I realize this, then I stop what I am doing   and take the time I need to fill my inner spirit with enough spiritual nourishment to get me through that day.  And guess what?  My day goes great from that time on!


The Bible teaches us that there is not one who is righteous , no not even one!

In this life anyone who has allowed their lives to become so unbalanced that they fall into habitual  sin of any kind find themselves in a situation that they cannot get their balance back on their own!  This means that they need the Holy Spirit who emanates from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul said in Romans   7:18, “There is no good that lives in me, that is in my sinful nature.  I know what is good, and I have the desire  to do it, but I cannot carry it out.”   

God  admonishes  us to be humble in the II Chronicles verse above.  It is even so important that we can study the beatitudes and learn just how important it really is to God.

“Now read the Beatitudes by reading the first part of the third verse, eliminate the, ” poor in spirit” and replace it with the word, “Humble,” and then the second part. And proceed to read the second part of all the subsequent verses down to verse 10.  This makes a very long, but powerful statement as to the efficacy of being humble.

Now you can read the passage like this:

“Blessed are the humble for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven, for they will be comforted, for they will be filled,  for they will be shown mercy, for they will see God,  for they will be called sons of God, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

What does this say about humility?

Humility is at least one fifth of what god wants from us and when we realize that humility is the exact opposite from pride, then we can see how important it is in living a balanced life.

The same man who said that there was no good living in him, also said in Philippeans4:13 , “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,”  and in verse 19, he said ,”And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus!”

Does this sound like the same guy who proclaimed himself unable to abate the temptations that come along in his life?  Not at all , because in the Romans verse he was talking about his inability to control his life on his own, where in the two Philippians verses he is talking about by the help of the Holy Spirit.  And when He works in our lives we become transformed into the person that wil be willing to give God what He wants from us on a regular and consistent    basis.  The more we seek Him the more we want more of Him in our lives!  What a wonderful manifestation of wanting to please our loving God!

In II Corinthians 12:9, The Apostle Paul writes, speaking of Jesus, “And He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you.  Power is made perfect in weakness.”  And the Apostle Paul, continues , “Therefore  all the more gladly  I want to boast of my weakness so that God’s power will rest on me.”

It takes a great deal of humility to admit , much less boast of our weaknesses!  In our postmodern world in which we grew up we were taught at an early age that “big boys don’t cry,” or admit weakness at any cost!  And to do  so requires transformation by the Holy Spirit     in our lives; which takes total submission to Him to do so.

Watchman Née says, “Each time you glory in your weakness while in the midst of trials, the power of Christ will over shadow you.”  

Praying without ceasing  also requires huge amounts of humility.  IN our text for   this article , II Chronicles  7:14  says, “Pray and seek my face…”  which means to pray without ceasing, and to constantly   seek His attention before we make any choices , to ask ourselves and our Lord , what would Jesus Christ do in the circumstances that I am now having to make choices about?  (1 Thessalonians 5:17- 18:KJV  “Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Humility is the key!


Attitude of Gratitude 

My spiritual father told me right away after I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior  that God was a sucker for an attitude of gratitude, and I believed him.

Looking back over the past twenty-five  years I can see how I , at times, have let things get in the way of my quality time with my Jesus , but it cannot go on for very long before His Holy Spirit  is nudging me to get back to the basics of that rapid growth He facilitated so many years ago.  I realized that when I make Him my top priority I continue to grow and that Christian growth is never ever static; we are either growing in Him, or we are growing our flesh, which closes the door on our spirit; this smells of regressing back into reviving the old man in us, which the enemy wants to see happen more and more.  But we must maintain the spiritual oomph to realize when this happens we must become more   focused on Christ and our love for Him, so that His promises will keep on coming commensurate with our keeping up our growth in Him in giving him all that He expects from us.

Gratitude is an  integral part of that equation that if it is not present in our daily spiritual walk we cannot possibly be living in obedience to His Word.

Psalms 136:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” 

Jeremiah 33:11 “The sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, ‘thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’

 For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.”

An attitude of gratitude is so important and sometimes so difficult to maintain for even the most faithful Christian. We frequently need a reminder of what all we have to give thanks for and be grateful for  This attitude will then lead us to choosing to be content with what we have and stop the foolish envy of things that others have that we don’t possess.  But we don’t ever know the hearts of those of whom we envy; they  may be blackened.

In an effort to maintain that gratitude that will help us to live in balance  it may be great for us to sit down , take a couple of hours, and develop a written  out in our own handwriting the list of those things that God has blessed us with  to establish an ongoing gratitude list

I use the acrostic  F-I-S-H-E-S which spells out fishes   for this purpose  to be able to organize our thoughts by compartmentalizing our lives into six distinct compartments. To pray and   think intensely on each one of them; one at a time.

To do this take six plank, but lined sheets of paper and write one of the letters     from our acrostic at the top of each sheet of paper.

The first one, of course will be the F in the word fishes, and it stands for Family, the blessings that have come from having members of our family in our lives .

The second  piece of paper  will have the letter  I, which stands for the intellectual  blessings that God has so generously bestowed upon each of us.

The third is the letter S, which stands for the blessings of our spiritual relationship with our lord Jesus Christ.  This is of paramount importance and the list should be very, very long if you  pray and think about it enough.

The forth, will be the letter H, which stands for your health.  Each of us has so much to be grateful for in this area of life.  Think of all of those who are currently dying who don’t know Christ as their personal Savior, and how wonderful it is to know that when we die we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him!

The fifth is the letter E, which stands for economic, which no matter how poor you think you are in this area, you have so much more than almost anyone in this world accept other Americans , you have to be able to count so many blessings in your economic life.

And last, the sixth letter is another S, which stands for social , another very important part of everyone’s life.  Two of our six basic human needs are love & belonging and fun, which is the genetic reward for learning  and fun is the first need that goes unmet when our lives go out of effective control.  And further, it is the absolute easiest to restore, and that is why I encourage those with whom I work to  make it a priority to have at least two fun activities each and every single week; one with another  person and one alone.

Now that you  have your pages labeled you need to sit down with at least two hours to put into this very important  activity and brainstorm with yourself and come up with at least 20 items in each category.  When  you run out of fresh ideas  then go  to the next page and do the same thing and remember, don’t cull any idea at this point in time, this is the way to generate the largest list.  You can revise it later during another session.

And for the next few months repeat this activity until you have at least 500 items on your list.  And your spiritual accountability partner will be telling you to add items that he notices is happening in your life as time goes on

Then, put this list, called your Gratitude List, in a private place and in times of struggle with your thoughts it is a great tool to prevent you from being tempted, (The Three Second Rule which you can learn all about in an article on this site; The Three Second Rule), or reverting to a pity party with yourself which can lead to a fall back into old behaviors.  .


John 14:21(NLT), “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

There is a world of information  in God’s Word about obedience .  It is probably the single most important  item on our list of things to become accountable for next to our thoughts.

Romans 5:19  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

This verse is talking about Satan  being the man who was disobedient leading many others to a life of sin, and Jesus being the obedient one, who through His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary , made many men righteous  .

When we are obedient to God’s Word, we are much less likely to listen to the temptations of the enemy and much more likely to make righteous selections in our choices.  What we choose to think about is where we end up going in our doing component of behavior.  So, if we ask ourselves before making any choices, “What would Jesus do in this choice?” we always know the answer , even before we ask the question.  But it is helpful to go through that process to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ  is our role model and if we always follow what we know He would do , we can never make poor choices.  But, this is beyond our capability, and that is the reason for repentance. .

Hebrews 5:7- 10 ;  “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. And once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest…” 

AS we red from this passage Jesus offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and  tears.”  Does this surprise you?  It is a little surprising to me given that he is God.  But since He did suffer so much physical , mental, and emotional pain , it makes perfect sense that He would want to cry out to His Father in times of struggle and pain.  But it is His obedience that caused God to make Him sinless and therefore perfect and elevated His Son to the level of high priest.  And if we follow this model of behavior we, too, can become righteous and less likely to choose sinful thoughts!  .



Acts 19:4- Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.  I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”

Before repentance is possible   one must first come to the end of themselves in their worldly ways and become broken in the spirit of habitual sin.  This requires them to be humble enough to admit their weaknesses and be willing to submit to the love and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ; this is a tall order and one that is never easy to accomplish until that spirit of the sin is hated by them and fled.

2 Corinthians 7:9- 11, “Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

The difference between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow is: Worldly sorrow says that I am going to change my life because I am sick and tired of the consequences of the things that I do , so I will change it and not do it any longer.  On the other hand , Godly sorrow says, I want to change because I am sick of grieving my More Jesus Christ.  When this is the case freedom is eminent!  Because the Holy Spirit knows the heart of the one who has this attitude of repentance.

“The answer for believers is that God changes people from the inside out. This change occurs as the person sees his need for change, comes to grip with his sinful behavior, and experiences a genuine turning away from that lifestyle, ;this is what defines repentance.  Such a transformation does not merely involve quitting sin. It is much deeper than just abstinence. In order for God to get a person to the place where he is able to forsake the idols of his life, a tremendous upheaval of his entire inside world is necessary. He has cherished and protected his idol over the years because he loves and desires it. God’s task is to gradually bring him to the place where he no longer desires it. Those who simply ”maintain” their sin never truly learn to hate it. At best, they learn to keep it under control. Charles Spurgeon once wrote, ”Men who only believe their depravity but do not hate it, are no further than the devil on their way to heaven.” Steve Gallagher, AT the Alter of Sexual  Idolatry

One of the key elements of  repentance is  having one’s will altered to bring it into the will of God. As Paul said, For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God.” (I Thessalonians 4:3-5)

Repentance describes the transforming of a person from being one who does his own (carnal) will, to one who does the will of his Father. At the beginning of His ministry, the first words out of the mouth of Jesus were, ”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) He then went on to give the fabulous Sermon on the Mount, which is a description of the initial experience of repentance and the lifestyle that emerges as a result. The Beatitudes contain all that is involved in the process of transformation. Those seven verses, Matthew 5:3-9, describe how a person is prepared for repentance, how it unfolds, and the life that accompanies it  and again, we must have a humble spirit for this to work in a genuine  , earnest turning of our hearts toward God.

So, you can see from this article that when our text came from II Chronicles  7:14, just a quick read-through of the verse doesn’t reflect in any depth the true magnitude of this requirement.  But when you break it down as I have here it becomes very clear that it is fairly simple, but never in a thousand years, easy!  We, by nature hate change and yet change is the only answer.  When the holy spirit becomes involved in our lives He will kick in His omnipotence as soon as He detects through our thought life and Christian walk , our honesty , sincerity, and willingness to change, and then comes the same power that raised Jesus Christ out of His grave; the ultimate source of power!  When this is in progress then our loving god, “will hear from Heaven, will forgive our sins, and will heal our land.”  This means anything in our lives that needs healing.

This is god’s ultimate promise to His children; aren’t you glad you are His child? Isn’t it worth the cost of His requirement in our text?