FINDING PLEASURE IN GOD’S COMMANDS

If we waited much longer, we would not take the Christmas tree down, we would vacuum it up! I was doing grandfather with six young kiddos. When I asked who wanted to help take down decorations, they voted with silence.

 

An hour later they were playing house—within reach of the tree. I said, “Okay, everyone takes five decorations and lays them on the couch. Make the rows neat, and I’ll see what you chose.”

 

Bingo. One stopped at seven. The rest kept going until the job was done. I didn’t even break up a fight, like I had done earlier. I marveled at my brilliance.

 

Think God. He commanded us to “be fruitful and multiply.” Okay—make me! He commands us to exercise good “temple maintenance” in the care of our bodies. With what? FOOD! What a drag!

 

Hey, it could be, like filling the tank. Imagine a dinner party where guests are grimacing as they down this terrible grass supplying them with necessary nutrients. Not our God. Celebrations around the world revolve around—food!

 

There He goes again. We try to get spiritual, and God gets physical, through intimacy, food, a hug, a babe attached to the uterine wall of a virgin, bread and wine, a cross. Ultimately, we don’t go to heaven; heaven comes down to us. Read it! “And God Himself shall be with them…” (Rev. 21:3).

 

Who ever came up with the idea of God as the Giant Ogre in the sky? Not even close. Satan destroys pleasure, not God. He’ll even deny us food if he can. Joy is a great weapon of warfare. It repels demons and the prince of demons.

 

Non-stop bliss was invented by the Great Lover! Satan will keep people out of heaven if he can, because heaven shows God to be all that He is—extravagant in His generosity and way beyond in His outlandish love.

 

How about the command to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together? The world looks on that one and says, “Go to church. How boring!” We know better. Our Sunday morning celebrations at Lydia House are fun, for goodness sakes. People stick around because they like being together. “Thanks for the command, Father.”

 

How about that embarrassing one: “Confess your sins to one another…?” There’s a tough one. Not for those who have tried it. Hardly anything more liberating than appropriate vulnerability. Shame is not amplified; it is released. “You were looking out for us, God.”

 

We confess with David, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Ps. 19:7, 8). God’s commands are invitations to enjoy Him—for people who live by grace.

 

Think of ridiculous commands from Pharisees types who operate under the merit system rather than the mercy system, meant to make us holy—and miserable. People look on and say, “I don’t know what you’ve got, but I hope I don’t catch it.”

 

A lady was asked if she woke up grouchy in the morning. She answered, “No, I let him sleep.” Some Christians are convinced that God is not a grouch. Find a few—and hang out with them.

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