That's a question I often think about: "What is God really looking for from me?" Today in my devotional time, I came across a verse I've read many times, but it unusually got my attention. Often when I'm reading the Scriptures I sense the Spirit drawing me to focus in on a specific verse and giving me new insight from it - that's what He did. This is the verse:
"My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word." Isaiah 66:2
At first I couldn't see the connection between the first part of the verse about God making and owning everything in "heaven and earth" and the second part about Him blessing those with "humble and contrite hearts", but it started making sense when I read it in some other translations that clarify the connection:
"I made all this! I own all this!" God's Decree. "But there is something I'm looking for: a person simple and plain, reverently responsive to what I say." (Message)
"All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word." (NRS)
I think what God is saying is that though He created everything on the earth and heaven - all the amazing things in this universe: the skies, the stars, the oceans, the amazing animals, plants, galaxies, mountains, and all the spiritual world: the angels, spiritual powers, etc. - what He is really looking for is someone who is humble, simple, and submissive to Him. Someone who cries in His presence, someone who loves Him deeply, who trembles in reverence when He speaks, who takes His words seriously.
Often, I think there's so much pressure for Christians to focus on learning a lot of things, or to serve a certain amount, or to build significant ministries, or to accomplish big tasks, but then we end up missing out on what God is really looking for: people with humble hearts and broken spirits.
Paul spoke of these people as those who "brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart" (2 Cor. 5:12)
God forgive us for trying to serve you more than to love you. Forgive us for trying to build great ministries, but forgetting to build great hearts. I pray that we, Your Church, would be known once again for our unfailing love, deep compassion, and our Christlike humility of heart.