You can force yourself into obedience for a while. You can force yourself to stay on the diet, quit watching porn, read your Bible, go to church, quit swearing, and so forth. You can force yourself for a while. But, you either find reward in that or you quit. You must come to love the Christian life, or you will never come to live the Christian life.
Prayer must become for you a “sweet hour of prayer” or you are not praying very well.
The Word must become, as the Psalmist said, “sweeter than honey” (Psalms 19.10) and “more precious than silver” (Psalm 119.72) or I bet you didn’t read your Bible this morning.
We either come to, “Love to tell the story” or we don’t tell the story.
We are hardwired for pleasure. We are hardwired for the reward. We find the reward or we struggle. When we find reward in God; Jesus’ yoke really does become easy and his burden light. Christian living is either easy or impossible. It is impossible if I don’t believe—really believe that God is a rewarder. It is impossible if I don’t believe it is in my best interest to live the Christian life. If I believe, it is easy. This is why the Bible has so much to say about faith. Faith is not an abstract concept unrelated to life. Faith is believing that God rewards. Faith is believing that obedience paves the way to happiness.
Think of child—a very philosophical child. The child imagines that he can
• do his own thing and be happy or
• be obedient to his dad and be miserable.
He is misguided in this juxtaposition. In fact, the dad will never be really happy with him unless he is happy. We say of a happy baby, “What a good baby!” And the father only wants the child’s well-being. The child may want to play in the street and it may seem to him that the restriction of playing in the yard is, well, too restrictive. He imagines he would be happier if he could play in the street. Dads know better.
If someone said, “I believe in eating healthful foods and exercising regularly,” but they never exercised and ate hamburgers and French fries every day, what do they really believe? If someone says he loves tennis, you would expect to find him watching when Wimbledon comes on. You wouldn’t be surprised to find a racquet in his trunk. If someone says, “I love Jesus,” but they don’t enjoy spending time in the Word and in prayer—they’d rather stay up late watching TV and sleeping in—what does he really love? We say we love Jesus. The better question is, “Do we like Jesus?” Do we like spending time with him?
Josh Hunt, Obedience, 2013.