Boundaries. Rules. I don’t like them. Not because I don’t like structure. I just don’t like someone else telling me what to do! In our independent American spirit, we’re kind of bred that way. So, when someone tells us to obey God or follow His principles, often we are tempted to rise up and become stubborn in our refusal to do what someone else tells us. Or maybe that’s just me 🙂

I mentioned a few days ago that I was thankful for God’s revealed will – the boundaries He sets for us in order that our lives might please Him. Sometimes, we hear about God’s will and harden our hearts because we imagine it means less fun for us. So, is that how it is? Does God never take pleasure in the enjoyment we find in life?

In the very next verse after Deuteronomy 12:14 (the one where God tells Israel they have to worship Him in the way He has laid out), God says this to Israel. “Notwithstanding you may kill and eat flesh in all your gates, whatsoever your soul desires, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he hath given you.”

That word “desires” is the same word for “will” or “pleasure”. Israel couldn’t just go up on a hillside and make an offering. But God gave them freedom to enjoy their everyday meals however they wanted. And God took pleasure in their enjoyment of those meals because they were obeying Him by enjoying it! Isn’t that cool?

I remember sitting at a restaurant in Peru with some missionary friends who were leaders in the Bible College down there. The husband said that one of the things his students often got caught up on was understanding the will of God. He was concerned that they made it way bigger than the concept was meant to be. And I agreed.

God’s will is discerned from His Word and by doing what it says. It’s not meant to be this complicated, ethereal thing. Too often, I end up putting myself in a cage of inaction because I’m afraid of stepping out of God’s will. Don’t you think God is pleased when you step out in faith for Him, even if you’re a little off in what He wanted you to do? Don’t believe me?

David planned to build a temple for the Lord. God even tells David He never asked for such a thing. And when David inquired about doing it, God told him he had too much blood on his hands. But the Lord was so pleased by this loving desire of David that He made the king a promise that the Messiah would come from his lineage. That’s a pretty important thing 🙂 And in the end, even though it wasn’t God’s will for David to build the temple, the Lord allowed him to take part in all the planning for it. Something David enjoyed immensely.

When I went to Bible College, I was engaged to my lovely bride. That was a rarity. So, immediately I became the expert on how to know when you’ve found the right person to marry. My fellow students were blown away by my answer. “She was drop dead gorgeous, fun to be around, and loved Jesus more than she loved me.” It wasn’t very complicated for me. And my relationship with my wife has been an amazing friendship of twenty plus years.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36. 

I’m so thankful that Jesus made me free in reality. I’m free from sin, my flesh, and all that the curse has brought upon the world. I’m so grateful that Jesus redeemed me from the curse and now I’m free to obey God, serve Him, and enjoy everything He has put on this earth for me.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” – 1 Timothy 6:17.

Have you thanked Jesus lately for the rich freedom He’s given you? Take some time today or tomorrow to worship Him by simply enjoying the freedom He purchased for you!