When I was growing up, my mom and grandma liked watching the news. As we all know, there aren’t a lot of happy stories on the news. It is mostly about people getting killed, kids getting kidnapped, or some other bad thing happening to people.
Watching that everyday scared my mom into thinking something like that was going to happen to me, so she was pretty strict with where I could go without her in our neighborhood and how long I could stay outside and play. Basically, I had to stay close enough to the house to hear her calling for me, and I had to come in when it got dark.
That rule was pretty annoying to me because if my friends went too far from my house — say to the convenient store down the street — I couldn’t go. Or if my friends were hanging out after dark — playing hide and go seek or something like that — I couldn’t play with them. So as a kid, I had to miss out on a lot of things that my friends got to do.
At the time, I really didn’t like my mom’s rules. I certainly didn’t think she was doing what was best for me. But looking back, and especially now that I have a son, I know that she was doing what what best for me. She didn’t make those rules to be mean. She did it because she cared about me and loved me.
I am sure your parents had some rules you didn’t agree with growing up, but now, hopefully you realize they made those rules because they wanted what’s best for you.
Our parents aren’t the only ones who want what’s best for us. Typically your teacher wants what’s best for you, as does your spouse, and hopefully your friends.
But what about God? Does God want what’s best for us?
A lot of people don’t think that He does, especially in our culture today. Most people see God as a cosmic kill joy. Someone with a lot rules that we have to follow.
But I think otherwise. I think God does want what’s best for us. To prove that I am going to give you six reasons.
6 Reasons We Know God Wants What is Best for Us
(1) God created us
When I say God created us, I don’t mean He started the evolutionary process billions of years ago and we just happen to be its most glorious achievement. What I mean is that God formed us with His own hands.
In Genesis 2:7 we read:
“… then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Gen. 2:7)
Did you catch that? God formed man. The idea is not that God just threw us together, but that He intentionally and carefully formed us like a Potter forms a vessel.
I don’t know if you have ever seen a potter making a vessel, but it is an intimate process that takes a lot of care, skill, and intentionality. Starting with a block of clay, the potter is able to work what was once bland and dull into something like a beautiful vase.
In the same way, God starting with the dust of the ground formed man into the beautiful and magnificent creatures we are today. And being God’s special creation, you have to know He wants what is best for us.
A couple of summers ago I was able to go to Camp Copass with the RA’s. One of the cool things about the camp is that they have all these stations setup that you visit throughout the day. They have archery station, BB gun station, an outdoor cooking station, and a blacksmith station. The cool thing is that you get to play at all these stations with the kids.
At the blacksmith station, you get a chance to form something, to make something with your own hands. I made a fish symbol out of a horseshoe, and a handkerchief holder with our initials on it out of some metal. Now, I am not a blacksmith, so my fish and my handkerchief holder turned out to be pretty crude. But even so, when I came home, I didn’t throw those things in a box, instead I displayed them in my office. I put them in a special place because they were my special creation.
Similarly, as God’s special creation, He puts man in a special place – The garden of Eden. He does that because He wants what’s best for us.
(2) God gave us things to enjoy
In Genesis 2:8-9, we read,
“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Ge 2:8–9)
Notice God didn’t hold Adam and Eve back from the garden — a place of extreme pleasure, and paradise on earth. Instead, He “put the man” in the garden, a place where he could enjoy God’s creation. God did that because God wants what is best for us.
Now, that doesn’t mean we should run off to Las Vegas tomorrow and indulge in everything that city has to offer. While God created this world for us to enjoy, sin has since entered into the world. Some of the things we are attracted to are not good for us. So we have to be careful as to what we indulge in because all of what this world has to offer is not good for us. Which leads me into my third point, we know God wants what is best for us.
(3) God gives us rules or commandments to follow
The rules God gives us aren’t meant to take our joy away, instead they are there to preserve our joy. You see, God knows what’s best for us, and through His Word, He guides us towards that which brings us the most joy and away from that which takes our joy away.
We see evidence of this even in the garden. While God placed The Tree of Life in the garden, He also placed The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden. In Genesis 2:16-17 we learn,
“God commanded the man saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)
So we see that God’s rules or commands are not meant to steal our joy away, but to preserve our joy. Let me give you a personal example of that.
At our church on Potluck Sunday, there is always a smorgasbord of desserts. Because I love dessert, I want to try everyone of them, but I know that if I indulge in every dessert offered, I am going to be sick. I know that from personal experience, and I know that from God’s Word.
Proverbs 25:16 says,
“ If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.”
God doesn’t tell me that to ruin my dessert time. Instead He tells me that because He truly wants me to enjoy it. So God isn’t some cosmic kill joy who is trying to take things from us. Instead God wants what’s best for us. He wants us to enjoy this world and He tells us how in His Word.
Question for Reflection
- Do you believe God wants what is best for you? Why or why not?
Post developed from the sermon: Does God Want What’s Best For Us?