And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
There are two ways of looking at God’s commands. From one perspective, they are nothing more than restrictions to keep us from living life to its fullest. From another perspective, they are the key to living life to its fullest.
I like to think of God’s commands kind of like a fence that we keep dogs in. The purpose of the fence isn’t to restrict our freedom. To the contrary, the purpose of the fence is to give us our freedom.
A few years back I was living in Brazil and made it my habit to go running alongside a highway several times a week. On one particular occasion I saw a dog run out in front of a car and live to regret his decision. His legs must have been crushed as he dragged himself to the side of the road, yelping in pain. It was such an awful sight, and I felt terrible for that dog. In his case, a fence wouldn’t have been restrictive; it would have been life-giving.
God’s commands are just like that – He wants us to enjoy life to the fullest, but He knows that we can only do that when we live by His commands. They don’t exist to harm us; they’re there for our own good.
So the next time you’re tempted to disobey God, do yourself a favor, and remember that He loves you so much that He gave you His commands. They are a benefit to you, and your life will be blessed if you live by them.
Father, I’m so quick to think that I know what’s best for me and my life. But You have so clearly stated the value of living in obedience to You. When the temptation arises to do anything other than that, please help me to surrender to You.