Relationship Over Rules

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

When our kids were little, before several of them were taller than I am, I used to squat down to look them in the eye when I’d give them a command to do or not do something. I would start by asking them a few questions like “Who am I?” They’d say, “You’re my dad.” Then I’d say, “How do I feel about you?” and they’d answer, “You love me with your whole heart.” With one of my sons, I’d ask him, “Out of everyone on planet earth, who’s first in line that wants good for you?” and he’d say, “You do, dad.”

After that, I’d say “So I’m going to tell you to do something, and I need you to do it.” I believe in “connect before you correct” and I wanted the relationship to come before the command.

When Jesus Christ comes to the earth, it’s the Father’s way of looking you in the eye and saying, “I love you and I’m here for you, but you’re putting yourself in harm’s way through sin, folly, and rebellion. I’m going to tell you to do some things because otherwise you’re going to hurt yourself, but I love you too much to let you self-destruct.”

When you know the Father’s love for you, you start to hear His commands for your differently. It’s not a Father who’s seeking to restrict you, He’s speaking to save you and preserve you. I’ve learned that the good things in life were God and the bad things in my life were me. The ways I’ve hurt myself were when I didn’t submit to God and acted out of my own foolishness.

We’re all going to live under some authority. Why do you think you’re a better authority than God?

Do you truly feel that God is your Father who wants the best for you? If not, ask Him to comfort and change your heart to see His loving heart for you.

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