Want peace? Obeying God brings it

Is obeying God a pain or a pleasure?

That depends on who you think God is. If your idea of God is that he's a strict judge, determined to spoil all your fun in life, then you'll find obedience to him a difficult struggle.

On the other hand, if you have an accurate picture of God, you'll have a heartfelt desire to obey him for the right reason:

because he loves you. The more assured you are of his love for you, the easier you'll find it to obey.

We singles are tugged in many different directions today, and most of them lead away from God. TV shows and movies treat sexual promiscuity as if it has the same moral consequences as shopping for groceries.

Magazines turn pre-marital and extra-marital sex into a game, constantly bombarding us with "tricks" and "secrets". There's a problem with that attitude though:

God says it's wrong.

Do you ever see characters in movies or on TV going to church? Do they ever talk about God or morality? Do any of them--for even thirty seconds--debate whether sleeping around is immoral?

God: cosmic killjoy?

One of the chief reasons singles give for not obeying God is that it would spoil their fun. Well, they may not say it openly, but that's certainly why they're indifferent to offending him.

Yet Jesus of Nazareth managed to obey God and still enjoy life.

It comes back to the question of our way vs. God's way. We think we know what's best for us better than God knows.

And it sort of creeps us out to think that we might be sinning against him, so we just sort of shut him out. If we don't acknowledge him, maybe he'll go away and we can get back to having our good time.

Sorry, consequences time

Except that runs contrary to one of life's indisputable truths: We reap what we sow. Big time. The emptiness, the hollowness of the disobedient lifestyle is a painful reminder that we're not as smart as we thought. We believed that obeying God is for suckers. Only prudes do that--or so we thought.

But sophistication doesn't always equate with intelligence. And a godless life is a dumb life.

Many people are so sophisticated that they never have a clue that their disobedience is the cause of their emptiness.

What to do? What to do?

If I'm preaching to the choir here--if you're a person who tries with all your heart to obey God out of love and respect for him--then take a quick trip here.

On the other hand, if you're not convinced that obeying God is the best course of action for your life, just try to give some objective thought to how things have been going so far. Feeling fulfilled? Deeply happy? Joyful? Things couldn't be better?

Or do you occasionally get a flash of horror at the meaninglessness of your existence? And it's so scary that you do your best to ignore it every time it pops up?

Obeying God is fun. Really. It keeps you out of trouble. You don't wake up hating yourself in the morning. When you laugh on the outside, you're also laughing on the inside (not crying inside). You have a strong sense of self-worth, because you know you're doing the right thing.

Oh sure, it's not without its hard times, but even during those, you're certain that God is real and that he's standing with you. He rewards you with the kind of blessings that are not high-maintenance but are priceless in value.

Obeying God is not for sissies or wimps. It takes backbone and the most courage you'll ever work up in your life. But you also have a Help tab to heaven that you can click on any time, day or night. We call it prayer.

If you've been wishy washy about obeying God, or only do it when it's convenient, start putting some feeling into it. Start saying no to the sleazy life. Give it an honest try and don't stop the first time you feel discouraged. God is forgiving. Keep trying, and watch what happens.

You will be astonished at the difference it makes.

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