I have been rereading Tim Keller’s Prodigal God…amazing book. It is based on the parable of the prodigal son’s
One of the things he points out, is how we quite quickly look past the “good son” who stayed home and concentrate only on the “bad son” who took his dad’s inheritance and spoiled it on crazy living.
The idea that hit me a bunch today was how the “good son” was trying to control the father by his obedience! What looked like something so good externally was totally hellish. Have you ever been there? “God! I have done so much! Now I deserve…” or “God! I have done so much! Why are you punishing me with…type of suffering.” This heart disposition is idolatry. Idolatry is when we put ANYTHING in front of God.
You see, I have had this problem of trying to control God by obeying. I have tried to make Him be indebted to me. I have tried to get Him to see all I have done and then blame Him when things go wrong.
I thank the Lord this is not what true abundant Life in Him is all about. He has called me and you to trust Him in such a way that He promises to express obedience through us as a lifestyle of thanksgiving, not a way to try and earn His love.