I’m not talking about taxes. I’m not talking about obeying the laws of our land. I’m talking about in relationship to God. How much of your “relationship” with God is driven by what you “have to do”? What would be left if you stopped doing the “have to’s”? “Have to” is not the kind of thing you really want in a personal relationship. “Have to” implies…
- Payment for services
- Pay off debt
- Requirement before receiving
- Fear of what would happen if we didn’t
- Serious consequences if we don’t
These are not part of healthy personal relationships. These reduce relationship to something contractual, something dry, something forced. These are the things that Jesus came to set man free from!
Yet for many this is the approach they take to involvement in church, Bible reading, giving, serving, and praying. Perhaps the greater question is…
Who told you that you “had to”?
Who told you that it was demanded? What did they promise you if you do? What did they threaten you with if you don’t? And what will happen if you stop?
What would be left if you stopped doing out of obligation?
The only thing left would be those things that we truly desired to do! They would be the things that we did out of joy, love, and passion. This is what Jesus came for! He spoke about a life driven by much more than obligation, fear, and duty. He spoke about a faith driven by the ultimate in motivation – love. He wasn’t trying to induce greater guilt by saying these things. He was explaining a dimension of relating that few experience. He was talking about what happens as a result of experiencing His love.
To those who know the reality of love, forgiveness, and being made righteous by faith, a well-spring of desire is ignited within. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38
On the other side of guilt and duty lies a world where desire comes alive. It’s a place where freedom runs wild. It’s a place where life springs up from inside and not from the pressure outside. It’s the place Jesus spoke of. It’s the place He longs for us to experience.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:2-4
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Let us walk into the room of glorious liberty! Let us walk confidently to the throne of the King who has given all grace! Let us live in the freedom of being loved, forgiven, and free! Let us experience release from the pressure to perform! Let us live in the wonder of the King of Grace! When your desire is lacking, don’t turn to guilt, shame, and remorse. Turn instead to the cross! There you were forgiven and made holy! There you were set free! As you stand there in amazement you’ll see desire return again! Reject the voices of accusation and fear. Listen to the the voice of the King. You are His, forgiven, and free!