“Every time I deliberately disobey a command of God, it is because I am in that moment doubtful as to God’s true intentions in giving me that command. Does He really have my best interests at heart? Or is He withholding something from me that I would be better off having?…However, the gospel changes my view of God’s commandments, in that it helps me to see the heart of the Person from whom those commandments come…I realize that if God loved me enough to sacrifice His Son’s life for me, then He must be guided by that same love when He speaks His commandments to me…the gospel cures me of my suspicion of God, thereby disposing me to walk more trustingly on the path of obedience to His commands.”
Satan is a legalist. If you read Genesis 3 carefully you’ll see what I mean. Do you remember how the conversation went in the garden? Let’s boil it down like this: if you obey God you will miss out. The logic is basically that God’s commandments are arbitrary and life killing. This is a lie you and I still wrestle with believing. If we obey God we will miss out. Conversely this means I obey God to get stuff. It’s like my children who will immediately obey me at the promise of a dum dum pop. It’s not me they love; it’s the dum dum pops. This is what CS Lewis meant when he said our desires are not too strong but too weak because we settle for so much less than what God made us for: himself. Satan makes me think one of two things: if I obey God I will miss out or I obey God to get stuff. The gospel cures me of both. It tells me that if God has loved me so much that Jesus would come and give his life for mine on the cross, how will he not also freely with him give me all the things I need? It also tells me that Jesus gave himself that I might get God, not stuff. The prosperity gospel makes much of stuff but not of Him through whom all stuff was made. If God gave Jesus for me, how can I doubt his heart of love? If God gave Jesus for me, what more could he possibly give?
Lord would you cure me of my deep and abiding suspicion of you. Help me to see the heights, depths, length and width of your dying love. Help me to resist him who is the father of lies. Keep me from honoring you with my lips while my heart is far from you. Give me an undivided heart of love to you that I might joyfully walk in the way of your commandments.