I Have To vs. I Want To
Have you ever thought about the things you wanted to do vs. the things you had to do on a daily basis? People tend to do what they want to do and feel pressured into doing something they “have” to do. It’s all about perspective. Well, I have to pray this morning otherwise… I have to read the Bible otherwise… I have to give to this person otherwise… What would happen if we chose to do something because we wanted to. This comes from our hearts and how much we love the Lord. What would it sound like if we said, I want to pray this morning because I want to fellowship with the God who loves me unconditionally. I want to read the Bible this morning because I want to equip myself with wisdom. I want to give to this person because I love them and I want them to know that God loves them too.
Do you see the huge shift? Religion comes from feeling like you have to do something to please God, or to get God to love us more. Can I tell you something? God loves you despite anything you’ve done. The Bible says in Romans 8:38 that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It doesn’t matter how many chapters of the Bible you read a day if it’s not out of love. Doesn’t matter if you pray the most powerful prayer if it’s not out of love. You see, in 1 Corinthians 13 we see what love is. Every time you see the word love, replace it with God and you will see that God doesn’t love us based on our performance. God doesn’t love us based on how much we study the Bible. Yes, it pleases God when we do those things, but God loves us because He is love.
I am not telling you that you shouldn’t read the Bible or that you shouldn’t pray. I am telling you that when you see how much God loves you, you will want to do all of that from your heart. You will want to obey His Word because of all that He has done for you. He sent Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16) I have fallen into the trap of doing things because I felt I had to do it, and God corrected me on this. In my prayer time, the Lord told me that I had to stop being religious, and understand how much He loves me. He told me that once I realize this and have such a deep revelation of His love, that everything I do will come from a place of love and want instead of obligation. Guilt and fear.
God does not operate on fear, He operates by faith and love. Faith works by love (1 John 4:16) The only way to have faith in God loves is to truly believe that He loves us, and from there everything we do flows from that otherwise when we pray we sound like a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1) Or if we give everything but it’s not rooted in love, it means nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). Love is so powerful and God wants you to know how much He loves you. Once you take hold of this truth, everything you do will flow from a place of loving the Lord and wanting to do His will. Your “have to” will turn into ``I want to”.