Have you ever come across a “Stop If Possible” sign? When a city traffic department determines that a stop sign in a certain location is best for public safety, people don’t criticize their decision as unfair. The masses don’t start writing letters to their leaders demanding their freedom to stop only when it’s convenient for them.
When a person has diabetes and their doctor puts them a strict diet and recommends exercise, do we get upset with the doctor for being insensitive? Or do we thank him for caring about the health of the patient?
If a math teacher spends time with a student who believes that 2+2=5 to explain to them why it equals 4, don’t we appreciate the teacher for teaching the student how to add properly? Would we consider this teacher to be intolerant?
If all of the above scenarios are true, why are we unwilling to accept that the God who created us knows what He is doing when He gives us rules to live by? Why is it hard to believe that living our lives according to the standard of the Bible is the best decision that we could ever make? Why do we persistently strain against God’s wisdom?
Many Christians refuse to live out their faith because they feel that the Bible is too restrictive. We expect that God should understand that Biblical ideals are too difficult to live out in the real world – that it’s nice to hear sermons at church, but impossible to apply such principles in daily life.
We expect God to keep His promises to us while we break our promises to other people. We expect others to deal with us honestly and fairly, and don’t think twice about cutting little corners here and there (why pay for music when there are websites where you can get it for free?).
It’s true that the Bible has absolute standards that are uncompromising in comparison to the standards of the world, but God is God. We are not. He is sovereign and perfectly wise. Therefore, He is more than qualified to direct our paths and establish guidelines for our lives than we are.
The idea that God’s rules are meant to oppress us and steal joy from us is an idea that comes straight from Satan. God loves us individually and created us with a specific plan for each of our lives. When we submit to Him and live according to His will, we actually find joy and purpose in our lives.
The person who seeks to honor the Lord with their life is more fulfilled than the one who spends it seeking pleasure and freedom to exercise their own will. Living for only ourselves is pleasurable for a season, but none of us were created to simply serve ourselves. In Galatians 5:13, Paul reminds us that ‘God called (us) to be free, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do what pleases your sinful self. Serve each other with love.’ When we’re not serving, we’re just existing. We realize that how fully alive we are when we’re serving others.
Though I know that God only has my best in mind, I sometimes find myself struggling against His authority in my life. My natural inclination is not to be obedient. By faith in Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I offer myself as a living sacrifice to the Lord. I fail over and over again, but by His grace, I am finding that the more I entrust my life to Him, the more I am able to trust Him with my life.
The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. | Psalm 19:7
God’s purpose for our lives is to connect us to something far greater than ourselves, and when we follow Him, our lives always mean more than we think they do. If we could just learn to wait and trust in God, all our criticisms against His high standards would prove false. God is not limited by time or space. He is in our tomorrow and able to guide us there in a way that glorifies Himself and benefits us. He has established His law in order to do this; our role is simply to obey it.