A Colorado Springs woman sits in her car in front of an elementary school every weekday afternoon and points a hair dryer out her window at passing vehicles. Many drivers mistake the hand-held dryer for a radar gun and slow down. Mission accomplished! The speed limit is posted in the school zone but it often takes the threat of punishment to make drivers obey the law.
That’s a sobering picture of us all, even in our relationship with God. Instead of an inner willingness to follow God, it may take the force of difficult circumstances to turn us toward Him. But that’s not how our heavenly Father wants it to be.
The Lord has always longed for His people to obey Him from their hearts. When the Israelites were poised to enter the Promised Land, Moses reviewed the Ten Commandments and then told them God’s response to their intention to keep His law: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29).
God doesn’t want us to obey Him just because we’re afraid of punishment. He longs for loving obedience that comes from our hearts.
God sometimes has to break our will
To get us to obey;
But He desires obedience
That loving hearts display. —Sper
Obedience to God flows freely from a heart of love.