I loved this illustration that speaks about the difference between being a religious rule keeper and having an authentic intimate relationship with GOD. It’s from the book, “Not A Fan,” by Kyle Idleman
When we learn to truly follow Jesus, we find that obedience to GOD comes from the inside out. Submission to what GOD wants for our lives flows naturally out of that relationship. It’s not to say that what we do or don’t do doesn’t matter, but what we do or don’t do must come from who we are as followers of Jesus.
When I got married there were some rules that I said I would live by. These rules were written and spelled out for me. When I said, “I Do” I understood I was committing to keeping certain rules. Rules like:
· Be faithful to her as long as we both live.
· Provide for her and meet her needs.
· Protect her with my life.
· Be committed to her for better or for worse.
But after I got married I soon discovered that there are other rules I didn’t know about. But these rules have since been clearly established:
· I am to keep my closet clean.
· I am not to make fun of her before 10 am.
· The toilet seat is to remain down at all times.
· I am to always have an opinion when asked about two dresses that to an untrained male eye appear to be identical.
· Listening to her and watching SportsCenter at the same time is tantamount to an emotional affair.
· Never grow hair on my back.
If I saw our relationship as a bunch of rules I had to keep, I would quickly become bitter and miserable. I would likely rebel and break the rules when she wasn’t paying attention. But I am passionately in love with my wife and that translates into a desire to please her. So I find that cleaning my closet, putting the lid down on the toilet, or other such extravagant acts aren’t cumbersome but actually quite satisfying. When the relationship on the inside is right, the outside will follow.