I gave my life to the Lord when I was fourteen, and although I struggled with relationships, I had no problem falling in love with God's law. Finally someone cared enough to teach me, warn me, instruct me and watch my progress. He even stuck around to bind up the wounds when I fell down and was lying face down in puddles of failure. Such love I've never known before.
At first I desired to obey from a place of brokenness. Perfectionism was a fruit of the deep root of rejection in my life and I worked very hard to be good enough to be loved. So naturally in my relationship with God I started out trying for years to earn God's love. I reasoned that if I did everything just right I'd be worthy and if I dared miss the mark He would punish me by taking back His love. What I didn't realize then is that my perfect performance (or lack thereof) couldn't change a single thing about His love for me. That He could never love me one iota more or less than He already did at any given moment; That His love was not dependent on me because IT IS WHO HE IS! God IS love and He couldn't ever be anything else, no matter what I did or didn't do.
"Not because of who I am, but because of what you've done. Not because of what I've done but because of who you are..." (Who am I by Casting Crowns)
The more I learned about Him the more I started responding to His love instead of trying to earn it. I started loving Him because He first loved me. Now I wanted to obey because it was my way of showing God that I loved back, that I was serious about our relationship, that I cherished it. I wasn't motivated by fear of disappointing Him anymore.
If you love me, obey me. (John 14:15)
Loving God means doing what He tells us to do, and really, that isn't hard at all; for every child of God can obey him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him. (John 14:15)
I also learned God doesn't give us instruction for right and wrong because He wants to spoil our fun or withhold any good thing from us. A loving parent doesn't just stand by and allow his small child to play with sharp objects or fire. No, you take it away to protect your precious one. And when baby cries (as babies naturally do) do you give it back just so they would stop? Of course not. You know they may not like it right then, but you also know they will thank you for it later. "...And if you hardhearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won't your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them?" (Matthew 7:11)
Finally I had found the security I've yearned for since I was a little girl.
You see, God's instruction creates boundaries in which we can exist meaningfully. The fence of his guidelines keeps us safe from harm and within those boundaries we find true freedom. It is a place where we don't have to look over our shoulder the whole time in fear of wolves pouncing at any moment. It is a space where there's enough food, water, shelter and shade; A place where every need is met and some. And I can't understand: why do some not want this good thing?
"Rules are made to be broken..."
Saul broke the rules repeatedly and lost his crown (and subsequently his life). Samson broke the rules, married heathen Delilah and lost his hair, his strength, his sight (not to mention his dignity and his destiny) - and subsequently his life. Pharaoh broke the rules (and his word to let the Israelites go) and lost his life along with his whole army, drowning in the sea. David broke the rules committing adultery with Bath-sheba and lost his first born child. Adam and Eve broke the rules, ate the forbidden fruit and lost the paradise. Jonah broke the rules fleeing from God's assignment in Nineveh and ended up in the belly of a whale.
Calamity in exchange for disobedience is not an old fashioned principle. In our modern day husband and wife break the rules and lose their marriages and families. A young man or woman is so hungry for acceptance that they end up addicted to drugs and die of an overdose. A young girl thinks if he sleeps with her it is the love she so desperately craves and instead she ends up with a baby with no daddy, no college education, barely any future - or perhaps even worse: AIDS. There's that one drink too many that kills a whole family in a drunken crash just a block from their house. That one "white" lie too many. Loosing your temper (and all self control with it). Stealing something small you never thought anyone would miss... And suddenly the future you thought you'd always have is gone forever.
And when everything is a mess there's the If there was a God how could He allow this to happen?
God don't break the rules. He made them. He doesn't plow down the fence and let the wild animals rip all the sheep apart. No, the sheep decides their right to freedom is being violated and jumps the fence... straight into the jaws of the lion and the bear. And the Good Shepherd's heart is broken because they wouldn't heed his warning. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city that murders the prophets. The city that stones those sent to help her. How often I have wanted to gather your children together even as a hen protects her brood under her wings, but you wouldn't let me. And now - now your house if left desolate..." (Luke 13:34)
God instructs us because He is a loving Father - the ultimate Father - watching over His children. He instructs us because He cares. Yes, you may not always like it, but I sincerely believe if you will heed his words this day you will thank Him later!
But now is the time. Never forget the warning, "Today if you hear God's voice speaking to you, do not harden your hearts against him,..." (Hebrews 3:15)
God loves you! Won't you just say Yes Lord.