A Christmas devotional I read ended with a prayer for humility to remember God doesn’t owe us an explanation when he requires our obedience. An alarm went off in my head. Does he really require our obedience? And what happens when we fail?
For most of my life, I thought the most important thing to God was his law and the one thing he most wanted from me was obedience. I put a lot of energy into obeying God’s law and doing it to the best of my ability. The problem was that I knew I wasn’t obeying perfectly, and I often felt guilty. I even wondered if my eternal life might be in danger.
God does want our obedience, but he knows we aren’t capable of it. Jesus was the only perfectly obedient human being and his obedience had its source in the mutual love of the Trinity. Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we come to recognize and accept God’s self-sacrificing, self-emptying love. As we grow in Christ, his great love turns our hearts to him, and they become synced to his. He shares his obedience with us, and it becomes ours.
God doesn’t place requirements on our lives. What he wants is relationship, a relationship he has invited us into, in his Son, through the Spirit. He provides all we need to be, stay and thrive in that relationship.
Happy New Year!