I'm sure many of you have heard the following story that Doug Batchelor likes to tell. Many years ago, a woman was married to a man who was a perfectionist. Not only was he a perfectionist, but he was a controlling perfectionist. Every morning he would get up and write out a list of things that his wife was supposed to complete before he got home from work. A typical list included things like do the laundry, clean the bathrooms, scrub the floors, and have supper ready on time. Over the years, this woman began to resent the treatment she was receiving. Finally, (some would say providentially), her husband passed away. Time went by and the woman remarried, this time to the sweetest, kindest man she had ever met. He loved her unconditionally and never ordered her to do things. One day, this woman was going through an old trunk in the attic and she came across one of the lists from her former husband. Her skin bristled at the memories, but as she began to read it, she realized that she was still doing everything on the list! What was different? she wondered. Then suddenly it dawned on her. She automatically does those things now because she is in love with her husband and wants to make him happy.
A lot of Christians today have a relationship with God much like the relationship this woman had with her first husband. They think of the ten commandments as a derogatory list of rules that must be completed before Christ returns. But Jesus doesn't see them that way. In John 14:15 He says, "If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments" (ASV). These aren't a list of rules, but rather the beautiful reality of who we will be if we have a relationship with Jesus! We will automatically do these things because we are in love with God and want to make Him happy.
Are you in love with God?