Love God and Do What You Want
By Amanda Drake Cromley & Mark Drake
First, a Word from Amanda -
One of the most freeing pieces of advice my father ever gave me was “Love God and do what you want.” At first I was taken aback by its almost jarring simplicity. And it certainly didn’t sound anything like the “super spiritual” words of guidance you hear from most preachers.
But as he went on to explain this revelation that had been so liberating for him and eliminated so much stress and worry in his own life, I realized he was right.
Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. The best possible way for that to happen is for God’s desires to become our own. And as we love God more and more (delight in Him), that is exactly what happens. His desires for our lives become our desires.
And do you know what else I’ve realized? God can handle our mistakes. He knows we’re going to make poor choices sometimes. A lot of times, actually. And since He knows what we need before we can even think to ask, he has already planned a way for us to move past those mistakes and get back on the right track.
The mercy he poured out at the cross already provided a way back from our poor choices. And His transforming grace ensures we don’t remain in our mess. What an amazing Father.
- Amanda Drake Cromley
And, of course, now a word from my dad:
What is our Faith in?
- by Mark Drake
I know this idea of “Do what you want,” scares a lot of people. I have heard it many times. “If you tell people this, they will think it means they can just do any carnal, selfish thing they want.” I used to think this way myself. Until I began asking myself, “How did they do this in the New Testament and what did they put their faith in?”
How did Paul and his team decide where they would go next? They went where they felt like they should go; where they wanted to go. They put their faith in Christ living, by His Spirit, in and through them. They trusted the Spirit leading them from the inside out. And the only time we’re aware of that they had a sign or dramatic “leading,” was when the Spirit told them to NOT go into Asia, yet. It wasn’t God’s timing, yet. Later, when God’s will and God’s timing came together, they traveled into Asia, to Ephesus, and had the greatest numerical success ever. Beyond that they just went where logic guided them.
Paul didn’t teach that there was some kind mystical “perfect will of God” that only the super-spiritual ones can walk in while the rest of us stumble around in some kind of “permissible will of God.” What he did teach was to put our faith in the Spirit living in us to mold our “wants” to His “wants.”
The more we become aware of Him in us, the more we’ll realize He is unconsciously leading us. As we learn to walk humbly before the Lord, we can expect Him to open and close doors as He sees fit. And our humility will keep us open to all the ways God can lead us, including through other people.
When Jesus was challenged with, “What is the greatest commandment?” He didn’t respond with one of the Big Ten. Instead, He said, “Love God with all you are.” But that seems to be much too simple. Jesus responded with that answer because He understood what happens when a person truly responds to God’s love for them by loving Him back. What happens when I do this? The miracle of Christ in me begins to grow molding my desires to His.
The reason “Love God” seems too simple to us is because we don’t really believe what they believed in the days of the early church. We must put our faith in what they put their faith in; Christ is in me, changing me and leading me from within. We must believe that when someone chooses to respond to the love of God by loving Him back, a miracle begins! And He who started this miracle, He will complete in you! (Phil. 1:6)
One More Thing…
By the way, no good father says to his kids, “You must do what I want you to do. Your life will only work right when you exactly what I want you to do. If you don’t everything I want you to do, it will go really bad for you. And, oh yeah, you are going to have to guess what it is because I’m not telling.”
So relax, your Father is not just good, He’s the best!
Mark Drake is an internationally known author, teacher and leader. He focuses on equipping leaders around the world in New Covenant Grace.