What do you suppose parents really want: a certain number of people dining together, vegetables eaten, sugar avoided, milk consumed, cleaned bedrooms, the trash taken out, an acceptable GPA, their opinions respected, a head count at curfew? If so, then why not open a restaurant, a boarding house, hire a maid, or pay to educate a foreign student?
As loving parents, we think this ridiculous! Since, what we want for our children is to develop disciplines and mindsets that will serve them well in dealing with this world and prepare their hearts for God’s purpose in their lives. Yet, somehow we find ways to reduce the purpose of God in our lives to a list of tasks that He, for some reason, desires to be performed by us.
If the commands of a loving parent call children to an awareness and practical application of their potential to benefit themselves and others, instead of a selfish desire for random obedience, then why would we think God’s commands were not at least as selfless and purposed? The fact is; God wants all men saved and those, who are saved, transformed into the likeness of His Son (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Cor 3:18).
We might expect children to doubt the motives of parents or misunderstand the purpose behind the commands and laws of their parents, but we would expect them to eventually mature enough to understand and appreciate the purpose behind them. If loving God and obeying His commands seem burdensome to you (1 John 5:3), then perhaps your view of God and His commands is too self absorbed? When we become mature, no longer infants, then we will become secure sharing and accomplishing God’s loving purpose for truth in this world (Eph 4:13–15). This is the narrow gate of the road that leads to life and few there be that find it (Matt 7:13-14). Peace to you in searching for it!
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18a, NIV)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, . . . (Ephesians 1:18, NIV)
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13–14, NIV)
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles (Matthew 5:41, NIV)
. . . to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:12–15, NIV)