Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Enjoying God is Conditional

You know, they say that your brain continues to think about problems and concerns while you sleep. I wonder if that's true.

Last night at BSF, our teaching leader made a statement that troubled me. In her lecture about Exodus 19-20, she remarked that "God's covenant with Israel was unconditional," (that is, they did nothing to earn it or maintain it or cancel it) "but their enjoyment of that covenant was conditional: it depended on their obedience."

And as I said, that troubled me. So, He chose them to be His people -- all on His impetus; they had nothing to do with making that happen -- but they don't get to enjoy that covenant unless they do this and this and this? It kind of sounds like some passive aggressive manipulation. Like some kind of sick game.

But this morning, I woke up and thought while lying in bed, "What should I blog about?" And that statement from my teaching leader suddenly came to mind . . . and I got it.

Because it's kind of like my husband's and my relationship with our daughter. She had nothing to do with the decision to be born in our family. She did nothing to "deserve" it. We established that relationship, and she just gets to benefit from it.

And there's nothing she can do that can sever that connection between us. We will always be the people who birthed her. Always. That relationship between us is "unconditional."

However . . . if she wants to enjoy all of the benefits of that relationship, there ARE things she has to do. If she wants to enjoy our company, she has to spend time with us. If she wants to share in the material blessings our family has, she has to either live under our roof or accept the gifts we offer her. If she wants the benefit of our wisdom, she has to listen to us and trust us. If she wants our help with problems, she has to open up to us about those problems.

And yes, she has to obey us. If she wants the benefit of our protecting her from certain dangers in the world, she has to trust and obey.

We don't dangle those blessings in front of her face, trying to manipulate her into doing what we want before we will give them to her. It's the natural course of things that for her to have those blessings requires a level of intimacy between her and us -- and she has the choice of nurturing that intimacy or not. On our end, we are all open arms.

And so is God on His end.

Yep, now I get it.

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