Talk to any mom and ask what a two-year-old’s favorite word is and most will agree. It’s “no.”
When my son was two years old, it certainly was his.
“Steven, put up your toys,” was met by, “No.”
“Steven, time for a nap,” was countered with, “No.”
“Steven, eat your green beans,” was resisted with, “No.”
Lest you think “no” meant anything to me, it did not. I always won the battle of the wills with this pint-sized lump of love God had given me.
One day he fell off of his little plastic three-wheeler and instead of crying, he stood up, placed his chubby hands on his determined hips and yelled at his Hot Wheels, “No!” It was the worst word he could think of and, by golly; he was going to say it.
From the beginning of time we see that obedience to God has been a problem for all humanity. That word “no” seems to ride the wave of disobedience as the undertow of poor choices pulls us down.
“I did it my way,” the proud sing for all to hear.
Why is that? Oh sure, it is easy to say that it is due to our sin nature and our inherent desire to control. But what about after we come to Christ.
Doesn’t 2 Corinthians 5:17 say that we are “a brand new creation”?
Doesn’t Galatians 2:20 say, “I am have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me?”
Doesn’t Scripture teach that our old nature that was rebellious toward God, separated from God, and antagonistic toward God has been replaced with a new nature that is reconciled or brought into oneness with God? Then why do we still struggle with obedience? [tweetherder]Why do we still tell God “yes,” but live the “no?” [/tweetherder]
There are many reasons, but let me suggest just one. Could it be that we don’t believe that God has our best interest in mind? Could it be that we see Him as a cruel taskmaster cracking the whip of submission over our backs, rather than loving Father Who wants the best for His child? Could it be that we don’t trust Him?
When I set up rules for my son, I didn’t do it out of meanness. I wasn’t out to ruin his fun. No, I set up boundaries in which he could flourish, so that he could flourish.
God does the same with us. He sets up boundaries in which we can flourish, and when we step out of those parameters, we suffer the consequences. God’s laws are not meant to restrict us but to protect us and provide a safe place for us to flourish. It is within those boundaries that the glory life exists.
So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that you and I can join together and thank God for the boundaries that He has set up in our lives.
I’m thinking that we can be grateful for the guidelines.
I’m thinking that we can trust that God has a good and perfect plan, and when we live a life of obedience, the plan unfolds right before our eyes.
I’m thinking that we can be filled with gratitude that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to tell us outright where the abundant life is found.
So what are you thinking?
Has “doing your life your way” ever gotten you into a heap of heartache, led you on a trail of trouble, or down a road of regret?
Are you ready to believe that God has your best interest in mind…all the time? If so, simply leave a comment that says, “I”m grateful for the guidelines.”