About a month ago my friend Emily* said something along the lines of, “My boyfriend thinks my rules are silly.” She was talking about the physical boundaries she’s set to glorify God in their relationship. She’s a believer and has been saved for a little over a year. I’m left to assume that her boyfriend thinks they are silly because he’s not a believer. There are several things about this conversation we had that left me scratching my head, but the thing that bothers me (still) is that the boundaries the sets to maintain a pure relationship are called “rules.”
First off, don’t get me wrong. I think boundaries are wonderful. If you don’t set boundaries and maintain them, you will fall. It’s so easy to be entangled in the mess of sin, especially sexual sin. Secondly, I’m not trying to be judgmental in this post. I’ve struggled with legalism for a long time. I’ve even had my list of boundaries written on a numbered list, probably even titled “Dating Rules.”
My problem when referring to boundaries (or things you don’t do because they dishonor God) as rules is that it really turns your life into a do’s and don’ts list. It says, “okay, so for in order for me to be a Christian I must follow these rules.” That’s legalism. That’s the law. That’s putting yourself under a yoke of slavery of works. Do this, don’t do this. When we do act as if we have laws to follow we become so concentrated on the “rules” that we lose focus of the heart of God.
I was talking to my friend Bonnie once about how her parents raised her. She’s an amazing woman of God. She’s been a mentor and example for me since I first became a believer. I asked her how her parents handled things, especially when it came to her purity, because I thought they did such a great job raising her. And she told me, “We talked about the heart of God and His desire for me.” And I remember thinking, that’s it? Really? That’s ALL?
When we become enthralled with the Lord, in love with the Lord, and consumed by Him, there is freedom. There’s forgiveness. There’s a desire to honor him in all things without being slain by legalism. I haven’t even begun to skim the surface of who God is or what His heart is really like, so I’m sorry to tell you I can’t tell you every attribute of His love. I do know that He wants the best for us, He longs for us, and He sent His only son to die for us.
Today’s devotional in Walk With God by Chris Tiegreen said this,
“What does it [the word becoming flesh] mean to you? When you read your Bible, does it make a difference that the Word is not just telling you what to do, but offering to re-create the fundamental nature of your spirit? when you worship God, is it better to do so with a transformed heart than a slavish obedience to an unknown diety?Does it matter to you that instead of simply being religious as best you can, you relate to a Person-a Person who lived in the same kind of body you have and yet is still powerful and wise enought to be your God? Are you glad your faith is this.. well, personal?”
I’m really excited that God wants a personal relationship with us rather than us earning our way to heaven. He wants a relationship with us. And that’s awesome. He wants to reveal Himself to us and wants to reveal His heart to us.
So, if you want to I’d appreciate if you’d pray for me to further learn the heart of God. And I’d also like to challenge you to learning more about how God shows His heart in the scriptures. 🙂
Here’s an amazing video from an AMAZING pastor! Enjoy!