Sometimes while teaching at youth group I have these "Ah-ha!" moments. I had one the other night. This time it happened while teaching the High Schoolers to be "doers of the Word not just hearers." I went through and gave them all these scriptures that tell them that God is not interested in how much you know, but in how much you obey what you know! But while standing there teaching obedience I felt a major disconnect from my audience. Obedience sounds boring...old fashioned...threatening. Nobody likes being told what to do, especially teenagers! "Why should I obey?" Then it hit me. God wants you to obey his word, not because he's some grumpy old man in the sky that likes to boss people around. He doesn't make rules just so he can shake his fist at you when you break them. That's not his purpose. God creates rules and wants you to obey them because it brings you the greatest blessing! He's in it for your joy! Obedience is the smartest thing you can do for yourself. Disobedience is the dumbest. In reading James 1, we see that "whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do." By knowing God's will and doing it you ensure blessing. By knowing God's will and not doing it you ensure to bring pain and trouble into your life. In disobedience you are your own worst enemy and the chief cause of calamity in your life. This is exemplified in Jeremiah 32, where God is telling the Israelites all the trouble they are bringing upon themselves! But in verse 39 God promises that He "will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them." As creator of the "machine", the omniscient God of the universe is telling you what will make you the happiest. When He reveals His will to you it's like He's holding out a huge slice of mouth-watering cake. "Take it," He says. When we refuse to obey His will it's like we're pushing his hand and the cake to the floor. "No thanks...we'll keep eating our manure," we say...even though it is the very thing that is making us sick. Disobedience shouldn't just make you feel guilty, it should make you feel dumb. God wants to bless you. He wants your life to be full of joy and love and peace! He's showing you how! Obey Him. His will is for your good.
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." - 1 John 5:3
"To walk out of God's will is to walk into nowhere." - C.S. Lewis