My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly. Psalm 119:167
I don’t think any child wants to obey. Fear and respect keep his behavior in check. In that moment when he decides what he's going to do, fear of consequences and respect for authority will cause him to adhere to the rules. That is immature obedience but obedience nonetheless.
There may come a time when this child disobeys, that he will see his father’s heartbroken face. If he loves his father, that will evoke a different perspective to disobedience. The next time he is faced with the temptation to break the rules, he will remember how much it hurt his father. That is the beginning of something holy.
God has a church full of children who obey because they feel they have to rather than want to. When a yielded life doesn’t bring the blessing they expect, there can be resentment and then abandonment to God’s ways. David makes it clear that he walks in God’s ways because he loves them. What is it David knows that I can easily forget?
God’s laws are given, not by a nit-picky Father who wants to ruin His child’s good time, but as a way to offer them protection, freedom, internal wellbeing, and the privilege of working collaboratively with Him to further the kingdom. Knowing that, I love Him more. Loving Him more, I obey for the right reasons. David’s sentiments are mutually heartfelt rather than farfetched.
I feel alive and close to You, Father, when I walk in Jesus’ footsteps. Amen