It's sad, but true - a lot of people believe that if there is a God, He's angry with them. Somehow, in their minds, God is upset with them, with most people actually, and that He wants them to be "holy" - which translates into - "bored, unexciting, quiet" - you know - Holy. And since God is mad at them, he doesn't want any good thing for them. As a result, people don't really want to get to know Him.
What a terrible understanding of God. I like to think of God as the perfect Dad. It helps me to get my head on straight about the way He thinks about me and His desires for me.
First of all - is He mad at me? Well, I have screwed up big time in life and He certainly could point out a whole lot of areas in which I've fallen short. But as a good dad, God realizes that I'm His child, and still learning. The Bible says, "For He knows our frame" (Ps 103:14). God knows my strengths and He knows my weaknesses. He made me! He better know me! So, yeah, we've made some big mistakes, but God realizes that and expects that. He desires good for us anyway. Don't you for your children? They mess up, sure, but do you reject them as a result? Of course not, and how much more patience does God have than you? The Bible says His mercy never ends! "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. " (Psalms 106:1) Wow - that is a lot of patience.
So what about all the stuff we've done wrong? It's covered! Jesus came, lived, and died, and rose again to cover all that stuff. Jesus came so we could quit thinking about all we've done wrong and get on with life. Sure, we've messed up - quit worrying about it, learn from it, do better next time.
So as the perfect Father, God is not mad at His children. He is however hoping that we can get more out of life. He wants good for us. Life operates according to principles. Cause and effect. As the perfect dad, with perfect understanding of the world, He knows cause and effect. He knows how we should live in order to get a great life - He wants us to have a great life. He also knows that many of our choices (which we are free to make) leads us away from that great life. He desires our obedience because He knows that if we'll follow His lead, we'll get somewhere great. Obedience to God's leadership produces wonderful things!
God wants wonderful things for us. All of us. Even those who don't believe in Him! The Bible says, "‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live." (Ezekiel 33:11) He wants life, even for the wicked. Doesn't a good father want his wayward children to see the error of their ways so that they can change and live a good life?
Oh - and what about this "holiness" business? Does God intend that we have no fun, that we lead dull lives of church attendance and prayer meetings? I think we have this image in our heads of the life God desires for us based on paintings on the walls of ancient churches. Who says that is holiness? The word holiness means to be set apart. It really means: to be His. "I am loved by God so I choose to love Him back - I am His." Holiness is not about kneeling for hours on concrete floors - or whatever painful image we tend to have of holiness.
So what does God actually want from us? Life! He wants us to live abundant lives. He created us to live. So how do we get this abundant life? By having a relationship with the One who created us so that He can teach us how to find life. He knows how to get it. He made everything and the laws under which everything functions. He knows how to have a good marriage. He knows how to get a raise at work. He knows how to build a home. He knows how to invest. He knows how to raise children. He knows how to have fun. He knows what it takes to have great sex. He knows how to make a great steak. He knows life - and He can teach us how to live it to the full. Knowing how to live life to the full starts with knowing Him.
And when we know Him, our lives will change. We will become the kind of people that make a difference in the world. Through a relationship with God we'll affect the world for good. People will learn from us that in God, you can have great relationships - in God, you can enjoy your work - in God, you can succeed financially - in God, you can find happiness. When the world sees you, they'll want the life you've got and will listen to the message you tell them about God. Its a big circle - God draws people into a relationship with Him by blessing those that are already His.
So what does God want from you? He wants to have a relationship with you so that He can teach you how to live a great life. Then He wants you to live a great life so that others can learn from you that having a relationship with God leads to a great life. That is holiness.
So God desires good for us, blessing not cursing - so choose life!
"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deut 30:19)