Duty or Delight?

I will never forget a prayer for me by Pastor Ronnie Moore to know the delight of God and not just duty. It really struck a chord within me, as I had recently left a church that was quite legalistic in nature. Today I feel led to write about this.

`The definition of duty, according to the Oxford dictionary is 1. A moral or legal obligation; a responsibility or 1.1  (of a visit or another undertaking) done from a sense of moral obligation rather than for pleasure)

Do you serve God and obey His Word out of a moral obligation, because you feel it’s the right thing to do, or is it a delight to you? God does not want anyone to feel obligated to serve Him. Even about giving, in 2 Corinthians 9:7 the apostle Paul writes that we should give thoughtfully and with purpose, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. I don’t think God wants us to do anything for Him grudgingly or because we have to, but because we want to – because we love Him.

This is the privilege that we have as Christians to be in a relationship with God. A Father does not only want to give to his children because he must – he gives and provides because it is a delight to him to see his happy children. This is the product of relationship.

Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Obeying the Law was not enough then for people to be made right with God, and it’s not enough now.

Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us i.e. by dying on the cross so that we could be made right with God.

In Galatians 3:26 it says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” If you are a Christian and you have faith in Jesus you have entered into a relationship with Him. You can be called his child.

I believe what God wants from us now is to delight in Him. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

The definition of the word delight in the Oxford dictionary is “great pleasure”. Synonyms for delight are happiness, joy, joyfulness, glee, gladness, gratification, relish, excitement, amusement, bliss, rapture, ecstasy, elation, euphoria.

Psalm 1: 1-3  says, ” Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Job 23:12 says, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”

There has been times when I have got so caught up in studying the Bible that I have kept writing for several hours and haven’t thought about eating or doing anything else, because I love the Word of God. God wants us to treasure His Word to us – it is important, it is precious and it is liberating. The Bible was written by various people who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is God’s message to mankind.

BIBLE = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

When you delight in someone you want to be with them, and that  desire is a priority in your life. You are excited about that relationship and you do as much as you can to spend time with them.

In Revelation 2:4 it says, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” The church in Ephesus did many good things – they worked hard for God; they had patience; they did not tolerate evil; they persevered; they had discernment about false apostles – but they were admonished for leaving their first love.

Likewise, we can do many good things for God and we can have many good qualities, but God wants our hearts, our love, our devotion and our total surrender.

What does God say to the loveless Church of Ephesus? He tells them to “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works” (verse 5)

Today, can I encourage you to fall in love with Jesus again? Repent of your coldness of heart, of the business and activity that is draining your soul and draw near to Jesus again. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. He delights in you.

 

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