My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26
There is a strong part of me that has always struggled with the concept of obedience. I was the child who touched the stove simply because I was told not to. And being the younger sister of two older brothers, I struggled with authority and sought out to prove my independence any chance I got.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this was one of my biggest downfalls in my relationship with Christ. Hearing the commandments always made me uneasy, and sermons on obedience and sanctification felt old-school and frustrating to me.
I think this all stemmed from a distorted view of who God is. Instead of believing that He was a good, merciful God, I feared that He was angry, disappointed, and frustrated with me. My heart did not understand that the Lord’s “rules” and commandments served a great purpose and existed to protect me, not restrict me. For a long time, I thought that because of my own obedience, God would love me. So when I would mess up, I would pull away from Him and worried that I would never “enough” for Him.
But then I realized that I could never earn my way to Heaven. I could never be obedient enough to gain His love. He loves me amid my disobedience and my sin, yet it is out of my own love for Him that my obedience can follow.
I found great comfort in that.
The Bible talks a lot about this, and most of Jesus’ life on Earth was spent proving to people that they could never be holy enough to get to Heaven, but by the grace of God, they got the opportunity to rely on Him to take them there. By the grace of God, they could trust in Jesus as He changed their hearts and set them apart. I pray that you might find joy in that today!
1. How do you view obedience?
2. Is it an obligation to you, or an overflow of your heart?
3. What are some areas of your life you need to surrender in obedience in order to let God work?
Lord, we thank You that You are a merciful God. We are grateful that we could not earn our way to Heaven even if we tried. We know that Your plans for our lives are good, but that they require obedience and full surrender to Your will. We ask that You’d increase our faith, Lord. That You would reveal Your heart to us and help us to understand that You ask for obedience to protect us, not withhold from us. We are grateful for who You are, Father. Amen.
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