Let God Change Your “Want To”

How John 6:37-39 Changes Us from the Inside Out

Have you ever found yourself wrestling with desires that seem to pull you away from God’s best for your life? It’s a struggle many of us know all too well. We often hear about changing our actions, our habits or even our environments to align with God’s will. But what if the real change needs to happen at the level of our “want to” – our deepest desires and inclinations?

In the book of John, Jesus speaks words that are both comforting and challenging. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:37-39 ESV).

God is not just interested in what we do, but in what we want to do.

So, let’s look at how allowing God to change our “want to” can lead to a life that’s not just obedient on the surface, but deeply aligned with the heart of God.

The Context of John 6:37-39

It’s important for us to understand the context in which Jesus spoke these words. The sixth chapter of John is a rich tapestry of miracles, teachings and confrontations. It opens with Jesus feeding a crowd of five thousand with just five loaves and two fish, a miracle that leaves the crowd astonished and eager to make Him their king.

But Jesus isn’t interested in an earthly kingdom. He retreats to a mountain to pray, only to reappear by walking on water, further astonishing His disciples. When the crowd finds Him again, Jesus uses the opportunity to teach some of His most profound lessons.

It’s in this setting that Jesus utters the words found in John 6:37-39. He’s speaking to a crowd that has seen His miracles but struggles to understand His true mission. Jesus makes it clear that His purpose is not to be a miracle worker or a political leader. His purpose is to bring people into a relationship with God, a connection that transforms them from the inside out.Let God Change Your "Want To"

When Jesus says, “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away,” He’s extending an invitation (John 6:37 NIV). It’s an invitation not just to witness miracles or partake in blessings, but to be fundamentally changed—to have our very desires, our “want to,” aligned with God’s will.

And the beauty of this invitation is its permanence. Jesus assures us that once we come to Him, we are secure. He will “lose none of all those He has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (John 6:39 NIV). This goes beyond a temporary change or a fleeting emotion; it’s a lifelong transformation, one that God is committed to seeing through to completion.

The Heart of the Matter: Our “Want To”

We’ve all been there – standing at the crossroads of decision, knowing what God would have us do, yet feeling pulled in the opposite direction by our own desires. It’s as if there’s a tug-of-war happening in our hearts, and the rope is our “want to.”

  • On one end is the life God envisions for us, full of peace, purpose and joy.
  • On the other end are our human inclinations, often fueled by immediate gratification, comfort or fear.

Take, for example, the story of Jonah. God called him to go to Nineveh and deliver a message. But Jonah’s “want to” was to flee in the opposite direction. It wasn’t just a matter of disobedience; it was a matter of desire. Jonah didn’t want to do God’s will because his own desires were misaligned.

Or consider Peter, who passionately declared he would never deny Jesus, yet did so three times when faced with potential persecution. His “want to” was to stand by Jesus, but when push came to shove, his desire for self-preservation took over.

So, what’s the solution? How do we align our “want to” with God’s will? The answer lies in a relationship, not rules. It’s not about trying harder, but about drawing closer to God, letting Him work in us to change not just our actions but our very desires.

Let God Change Your "Want To"

When we come to Jesus, as He invites us to do in John 6:37-39, something incredible happens. Our “want to” starts to change. The things that once lured us away from God’s best for us lose their appeal. New desires take root – desires to love more deeply, serve more selflessly and live more purposefully.

And it’s an ongoing process. Just like a fruit tree needs constant nourishment to produce good fruit, our hearts need continual tending by God and His Word to produce desires that align with His will.

The Role of God in Changing Our “Want To”

So, we’ve established that our “want to” often needs a makeover. But how does that change happen? The answer: God changes our “want to,” through His relationship with us.

The enemy of our souls would like to convince you that God is a distant deity who hands down a list of dos and don’ts and then steps back to watch us struggle. But that’s absolutely not true!

God is a loving Father who wants to walk with us, guide us and ultimately transform us.

When we accept Jesus’ invitation to come to Him, we’re entering into a life-changing relationship. And in this relationship, the Holy Spirit plays a vital role. The Spirit is like a master gardener who knows exactly how to cultivate our hearts for lasting change. He convicts us when we stray, comforts us when we’re down and continually points us back to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

As we spend time in prayer, immerse ourselves in Scripture and engage in authentic community with other believers, something amazing happens. Our “want to” starts to shift. We find ourselves wanting to pray, wanting to read the Bible, wanting to serve others—not out of obligation, but out of genuine desire.

Let God Change Your "Want To"

And what about those old desires, the ones that used to trip us up? Well, they don’t disappear overnight, but they do start to lose their grip. As we draw near to God, He draws near to us, and His desires become our desires. It’s like we’re being tuned to the same frequency, and the static of conflicting wants and wishes starts to fade away.

This is the promise of John 6:39, that God is committed to our transformation from the inside out. He won’t let go of us; He won’t give up on us. Our “want to” is safe in His hands.

The Promise of Preservation in John 6:39

One of the most comforting aspects of Jesus’ words in John 6:37-39 is the promise of preservation. When Jesus says, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (NIV). He’s giving us an assurance that goes beyond this life and into eternity.

If God is committed to preserving us for eternity, then He’s equally committed to preserving and transforming us right here and now. This is so much more than ensuring we go to heaven when we die. It’s about guaranteeing that our lives here on earth are continually shaped and molded by God’s loving hands.

This promise is like a safety net beneath a trapeze artist. Knowing it’s there doesn’t make the artist careless; it makes them confident. Similarly, knowing that God promises to hold onto us and preserve us gives us the confidence to let Him change our “want to.” We can take the risk of surrendering our desires to Him, knowing that He won’t let us fall.

The process of letting God change our “want to” can sometimes feel like a risk.

It often means letting go of familiar comforts or stepping into unknown territory. But the promise of John 6:39 assures us that it’s a risk worth taking. God is committed to a lifetime of transformation.

So, as we navigate the ups and downs of life, as we face temptations and trials, let’s hold onto this promise. God is not only capable of changing our “want to,” but He’s also committed to preserving that change, to seeing us through to the end. And not just the end of a chapter or a season, but all the way to eternity.

Let God Change Your "Want To"

Practical Steps for Letting God Change Your “Want To”

So, we’ve explored the why and the what, but let’s get down to the how. How do we let God change our “want to?”

Here are some actionable steps that can help you on this transformative journey.

  1. Spend Time in Prayer and the Word

Cultivate a habit of spending time with God in prayer and reading the Bible. Think of it as a conversation where you talk to God, but you also listen. As you immerse yourself in Scripture, you’ll find that God speaks to you, shaping your desires to align with His.

      2. Be Part of a Faith Community

Don’t underestimate the power of community in this process. Surrounding yourself with people who are also seeking to align their “want to” with God’s will can be incredibly encouraging. They can offer wisdom, accountability and a whole lot of love and grace along the way.

      3. Seek Accountability and Mentorship

Find someone who can serve as a mentor or accountability partner. This person can help you stay on track, pray with you and offer insights you might not have considered. Sometimes, it takes an outside perspective to help us see where our “want to” needs a little recalibration.

      4. Practice Gratitude

It’s amazing how a thankful heart can change your perspective and, in turn, your desires. Make it a habit to count your blessings, both big and small. As you focus on what God has already done in your life, you’ll find your “want to” shifting towards wanting more of Him.

      5. Take Small Steps of Obedience

Finally, don’t despise small beginnings. You don’t have to change everything overnight. Start with small steps of obedience and celebrate those victories. Each step you take in aligning your “want to” with God’s will is a step towards a life that’s richer, fuller and more in tune with God’s heart for you.

Let God Change Your "Want To"

These are just a few practical steps to consider. The key is to keep the lines of communication open with God and to remain open to the work He wants to do in you. Remember, He’s committed to your transformation, just as He promised in John 6:39.

As you go about your day, your week, your life, remember that you’re not alone in this. God is walking with you every step of the way, shaping and molding your desires to reflect His own. And that’s not just good news; it’s the best news.

Let this promise fuel your confidence as you take action to let God change your “want to.” Trust Him, lean into Him and watch as He transforms your life from the inside out, just as He promised.