“Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live.” Psalm 119:144
Even at 3 years old she knew the rule—-tippy cups were to be kept in the kitchen. However, as she stood at the threshold, tippy cup in hand, her young mind pondered obedience. Glancing up at her mom’s watchful eyes and then down again at the threshold, she decided.
Picking up one foot the little princess dangled it over the other side without touching the carpet. Looking up at mom once more, she smiled mischievously, pulled the foot back, turned and walked into the kitchen sipping on her juice. Her mom stared in disbelief. “Oh Lord,” she whispered, “I’m in trouble.”
Obedience is a choice. Choosing to obey, however, does not necessarily reflect the righteousness God calls us to.
Righteousness is in the heart behind the choice. The tippy toting toddler chose to obey the law of the house, but her heart wasn’t in it. Of course, she’s only three. Heart obedience requires cultivation. But what if you are twenty-three, thirty-three, forty-three or more? Why do you obey (or not obey) God’s laws?
There is a misconception that achieving righteousness is like climbing a ladder. The more you do the right thing, the more righteous you are. For example, “If I tell the truth more times than I tell lies, I’ll be more righteous.” The problem is, in God’s eyes there’s no way we can work-up-to righteousness. God’s righteousness flows from His holiness, thus righteousness begins with purity; it comes out of holiness--it does not reach up to holiness.
This may sound hopeless. The reality is, simply pursing obedience is hopeless and often leads to legalism. However, focusing on cultivating a relationship with our holy, loving, righteous God will result in righteous obedience… not for obedience’ sake, but for love of the Savior and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Your View of God really matters…
Why do you try to obey God’s laws? Your answer reflects how you view God and His righteousness. He calls us to righteousness and at the same time frees us from the bondage of legalism. Ask God today to help you follow His laws out of your love relationship with Him and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Read God’s Word Today…
1 Thessalonians 3:13 “May He, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all His holy people. Amen”
God, because You are righteous I will live by Your standards.
Based on the writings of Bill Bright
©2019 Bright Media Foundation