Duty vs. Delight

Have you ever felt discouraged regarding your ‘spiritual discipline?’ You know, your consistency in doing those things Christians are supposed to do; rise early, have meaningful time with the Lord in which you read your Bible, pray, and are quiet and fully focused on Him, before heading into your day equipped with joy, gentleness, and grace with which to greet others and meet circumstances head on? WHEW! Living life based on spiritual supposed to’s will leave us discouraged, disillusioned, and often feeling defeated.

If you’ve been here, its time to realign by setting aside spiritual supposed to’s  in order to embrace God’s divine design of a personal relationship with Him that’s unencumbered by duty and established in these facts:

God loves you. This truth is unconditional; not based upon your performance or perfection.  God loves you because of who He is; not based on who you are, or who you feel you should be. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV).

God wants you to seek Him through His Word and prayer because He wants you to get to know Him and to experience a growing relationship with Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 NKJV). Just as regular time with a significant person in our lives deepens our relationship with them, so does time spent seeking to be with God.

God is faithful and He is committed to changing you from the inside out. We can’t pull off being perfect by doing a list of ‘supposed to’s.’ This pursuit is unrealistic. God didn’t design us to somehow measure up spiritually. The truth is that God brings about spiritual growth in us as we adjust our lives to Him (Philippians 1:6).  How do we adjust to Him? Here are two foundational ways: Embrace as fact that He truly loves you, and take Him at His Word. An old adage is worth taking to heart, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it!”

God invites you to do life with Him, day by day, not out of duty, but rather based upon His desire to give you a fullness of life that isn’t based upon circumstances (John 10:10), peace that won’t waver (Philippians 4:6), hope that’s restored, and the working together of all things for His good (Romans 8:28). As we seek Him based upon His Truth, not our duty, delight springs forth.

You may enjoy starting this month by reading one Psalm a day; an easy way to begin is by reading the Psalm dated for that day. As you read, ask God to give you insights, understanding, and greater awareness of His love for you.