His Choice, Our Relationship

I recently finished a book study with a small group of wonderful women. Each Monday night we would gather together in my living room and discuss the lavish love and grace of God. Some of our discussions were about what happens when we make bad decisions and bad choices; do our choices affect His relationship with us?  I believe that it is important to realize that we have a relationship with God because He wanted one with us.

We love (Him), because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

We are helpless to secure salvation and a relationship with God apart from His drawing, calling, justifying, and sanctifying us. Our relationship with God began with Him. We could not love Him until He loved us, and we could not be saved until He called us. Reformed theology says that God chose His own in eternity past to be His children (Eph. 1). Because He chose us it was a given that we would respond at some point in life. So how much of  us is involved in maintaining the relationship?

Is obedience asked for? Yes it is asked for and in some cases, obedience is commanded. We see this in the imperatives in Scripture such as, love one another (John 13:34), be like-minded toward one another (Rom. 12:16), care for one another (1 Cor.12:25), and so on. Those are not just suggestions, they are commands. Another imperative is that we walk worthy of the calling we have received (Eph. 4:1). A natural part of walking worthy is to obey the Word of God.

We obey because we desire to glorify God, not because we fear what will happen if we don’t. Far too many of the Christian women I know obey out of fear, not out of love or desire to glorify God. Those are an afterthought. We often “do for God” out of a desire to gain approval, be safe, and avoid problems.

Are those the motives and actions of a loving relationship? Are these the desires of a loving heart that wants to glorify God? Is it God’s desire that you live in fear and terror of Him? Is it right that you obey and make right choices on the outside while your heart is rebelling against Him? What is more important to the Lord?

…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

You have to want to glorify Him more than you want to satisfy you and become willing to run away from yourself to avoid the sin. You have to decide it is more important to you to live your position, and to stop living as a slave to sin.