Why Is It So Hard To Obey God?
I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:23
Obedience. It seems to be a hard thing to do, doesn’t it? God tells us certain things to do—seek Him with all our heart, forgive those who hurt us, tell others about Him, honor Him from our wealth, stay away from sexual immorality and destructive behaviors and bad influences—and we struggle and often fail.
Why is it so hard to simply obey God? The answer is simple: We don’t really and truly believe He loves us and wants what is best for us.
Author John Maisel said when he went to grandparent’s day some years ago, his little granddaughter had written these insightful words under a piece of artwork she made, “I obey my parents because I know they love me, and I trust them.” BINGO!
When you KNOW God loves you, you see His commands as good things for your life. God is not a cosmic “Buzz Kill.” He is not someone who works overtime to eliminate all your fun. He is the God who loves you and wants to protect you from hurting yourself.
DON’T PLAY IN THE STREET
When my kids were little and wanted to play in the front yard, we told them NOT to venture out into the street. While the street may have looked fun and safe to them, we knew that the street was dangerous. Cars could easily drive by and accidently hit them if they darted out into the street unexpectedly. Why did Debbie and I give this command? Was it because we wanted to steal away their fun, or because we loved them and wanted to protect them from harm?
Every time God says don’t do this or don’t do that, it is because He loves you and doesn’t want you to hurt yourself.
SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE
When I was in high school, I dated a beautiful girl I’ll call Leslie (not her real name). She was very sweet and wholesome, but then she moved away and got in with the wrong crowd. She became very sexually active. I saw her a few years later when we were both sophomores in college. I will never forget what she said to me, “Jeff, sex is not all it’s cracked up to be. Everyone says it’s so great, but it’s really not that big of a deal.” How sad. She was only twenty years old and already something as wonderful and sacred as sexual intimacy between a husband and wife had become so cheapened and abused that it no longer carried any meaning to her.
Figuratively, she played in the street and got run over by a car (she had two abortions before she was 21).
IF YOU WOULD ONLY BELIEVE IT
God loves you. He really does. It is amazing, but true: God loves you as much as He loves Jesus (read John 17:23 again). The cross PROVES His love for you (Romans 5:8). And if you would really believe and receive His great love, obeying His voice would not be such a struggle because you would know that every “don’t do this” was there for your protection and benefit … and every “do this” was there for your blessing.
God is a good God who loves you and wants what is best for you. Burn that truth into your mind and heart, and it will change the way you live.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.