I shared recently that God’s blessing for our good behavior was “fake news” and that His blessing for Christ’s merit on our behalf was truly “Good News!” Some people really don’t like that, because they have believed the lie that their “doing well” causes God’s blessing and favor in their life. I sure can relate!
I grew up thinking that too – that God had a carrot and stick, and I (as a positive-flesh Christian) wanted to enjoy all the carrots! Praise God He showed me His heart and my freedom more clearly….
People are often confused about the nature of obedience – whether with regard to sin or with regard to religious activity or anything else – when they discover the grace of God and the finished work of Christ really is sufficient for all God requires. The reality is that obedience – like righteousness – is relational not behavioral. It is trust born of true love affecting activity, NOT activity out of compulsion or fear in the hope of reward or avoiding punishment.
Everything God does in our life is by His grace not by our merit. That He extends that grace to you through His love in leading you and directing you for His purposes in your life gives you the opportunity to respond in love and trust of Him through obedience.
Paul wrote that God has given us already given everything heaven has to offer in the indwelling Life of Christ and always intended to do so for the sake of bringing you into intimate fellowship in the family of God (see Eph. 1:3). It’s relational not transactional. That means He is not rewarding your merit by how well you do in obedience with His blessing. We cannot buy His favor by our behavior. His blessings were already completely yours in Christ by grace. Obedience is simply walking in His favor, trusting Him in His sufficiency and blessing, not causing them.
Obedience is not what we do for what we want from God, but how we respond in love and trust for all we have received from God. It’s not barter for favor, but overflowing from His Life!
Let His Spirit give you spiritual eyes to see the truth of obedience: since we love Him, we are joyful to operate from His Life and direction because it’s from One who loves us so richly. It is what we actually want in our relationship with Abba Father: He loves by provision and direction and we then love in return by receiving and following. It is exactly how loving family works perfectly together in His divine Life by grace.
QoD: “Can you see the difference between relational obedience from His blessing and striving for behavior that causes His blessing in your choices today?” Share in the comments!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~