“I want to do whatever I want! Why do I have to follow that dumb rule? If I follow the rules, will I still have fun? I have followed all of the rules and my life still stinks,” are words I hear from my friends and even from my own mouth at times. It is not fun following rules but ironically, the soul gains freedom by doing it, says John Ortberg and oh yes . . .God, too!
But how does that work? How does following God’s Law revive my soul and increase my freedom? Ortberg suggests, “to become truly free, you must surrender” (pg. 147). Abraham was willing to surrender his only son (much like Someone else we know) because his trust in God was greater. Because of that act of obedience, Abraham’s faith was strengthened and his soul became free. Maybe his freedom came when he embraced God’s overall plan for the world and his place in it…He didn’t have any control over what God might do but He obeyed anyway.
As I drove through the Starbucks line to get my 4-year-old a cake pop, I pondered how I could obey God more by living more simply… I know, ironic, right? We all resonate with this… it’s the tension that inevitably comes from living in the time and place that we do. What does obedience look like in our everyday busy modern American lives? The ten commandments are a great place to start but what else might God be asking us to do. Let’s pray and ask the Lord for what He wants from us.
God’s law and my soul’s freedom are connected! Maybe that is why I am so often depleted and downcast and. . .un-free. I may not be obeying God. If so, then how might I learn to obey God more in the future?
After praying, list five ways God might be asking you to obey Him:
So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess” (Deuteronomy 5:32-33).