How we feel about the imperatives in Scripture reveals much about the condition of our hearts. For those whose hearts are hard, commands seem like unwarranted intrusions into our otherwise free living. Christians who have been softened by the grace of God see God’s commands in a different light. When the light of the cross of Christ is shed upon these imperatives, they become less drudgery and more joy. That’s why the apostle can write such a shocking statement in 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” Well, if they’re not burdensome, what are they? They’re our joy.
When we get down to the basics, Christianity is quite simple. Christians are people who have realized that they’ve dumbly been walking toward eternal hellfire and having discovered that they’re desperate and determined to do whatever it takes to escape. They hate sin and its effects, so they not only cling to Christ for salvation from the eternal punishment of sin but they also cling to the Word for salvation from the immediate consequences of sin. They seek salvation from hell and despair. They’re not content to wait for the joys of heaven; they do all they can to bring the joys of heaven down.
And that’s why Christians love obedience.
Obedience releases us from the tangles of sin and frees us to enjoy God forever.
I treasure all the commands I find in Scripture because behind them I hear the voice of a loving Father telling me where to find true joy.
Obedience is often seen as a straight jacket. Born-again believers, who have been given eyes to see the greatness of the glory of Christ, see obedience as a treasure map. It doesn’t restrict me from pleasure, it enables me to find that which is my heart’s greatest delight—Christ.