Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Compliant Hearts vs Rebellious Hearts

Father & Daughter
by Allsa
flickr.com_photos/38484636@N06/4536997362
CC BY-ND 2.0
If you love me you will obey what I command. John 14:15

Compliant children obey the rules, keep the peace, and respect authority. They're agreeable, reliable and trustworthy, yet easily over-looked because they don't demand constant attention.

Strong-willed children break the rules, argue often, and question authority. They're disagreeable, demonstrative and usually nonconformists. They get all the attention because their behavior demands it.

As parents, we wonder how such opposite children came from the same lot.
What discipline works well with one certainly does not prove effective with the other. In our attempts to be fair, we’re constantly challenged to balance this with love.

Luke reminds me of this in the "Parable of the Lost Son" (Luke 15:11-31). One son is compliant; the second is disobedient, impatient and rebellious demanding his inheritance immediately. The father complies with his demands.

The rebellious one leaves home and squanders his entire inheritance on frivolities. Starving and homeless, he returns home and apologizes to his father, admitting he has not only sinned against his family but also against God.

Like any parent of a "lost" a child, this father is overjoyed that God protected and returned the lost son, so he throws a party in his honor. The obedient son expresses his outrage:

"Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when THIS son of yours who squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for HIM?

 “My son," the father said, "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; HE WAS LOST AND IS FOUND" (Luke15: 31-32).

It's all about the heart - the attitude behind the obedience.
 
Jesus says, "If you love me you will obey what I command" (John 14:15). When we love someone, our heart yearns to please them and obedience comes naturally, not dutifully. That's a heart change. That's being "found."

Are there "lost" areas in your heart that long to "be found"? Are you willing to let go of these places and allow the Holy Spirit access to them? Take some alone time with God today and let Him love on you and you on Him. It's not about to do lists or sin management, but rather relationship and love.

If you joined me here today from Encouragement Cafe, welcome!

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