Did you ever think of faith in God as obedience?
You’ve probably tried hard to be good. It isn’t easy because sometimes you make the wrong choices. It could be because you don’t have the right information. Or maybe it’s because you’ve rationalized a particular choice enough times that you really believe you’re the exception.
Either way you’ve chosen not to obey God. The difference in motivation however is huge.
If you hit someone with your car and you didn’t mean to – in fact, you cringe when it happens – you’re not as bad as the person who chases someone down with his car fully intending to harm or even kill that person.
God won’t love you more if you obey Him all the time or just sometimes. He won’t love you less when you mess up or obey just to impress those folks at work, school, or church. God can see past your mask. He knows who you really are. He’s there when you’re by yourself doing stuff that, if it got out, would embarrass the life right out of you.
So if we can’t impress God by obeying His rules, what hope is there? After all, isn’t He keeping score? What can we do to get on God’s good list?
There’s just one thing. And you have to get it from God.
Grace is what Jesus shed His blood for. It’s the eraser that wipes your slate of sins clean forever and erases even the memory of the slate! It’s the gift of unmerited favor from God. That means He likes you, really likes you. There’s nothing you can do to change that – ever.
Grace is what leads us to obey. The burden of doing it to impress God or anyone else is replaced by a desire to do everything you can to please God because you’re loved so very much you just can’t help wanting to give Him your best!
That’s the mark of the believer. Obedience will be the fruit of knowing you’re loved and forgiven. And behind that obedience will be an overwhelming desire to obey just because you can.
Don’t feel like this? Hope is just a prayer away.