Many people try to please God by obeying the rules He gave rather than by enjoying a relationship with the Son He sent.
The tendency to do this is strong because rule-keeping is more concise and specific. It lets us keep track of the good deeds we do and leads to self-satisfaction and self-importance. It gives us ammunition when we try to convince God we are worthy of His blessings.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were rule followers. They were very good at it. They never “walked up the down staircase.” But in their blind, narrow version of obedience they missed the thrill of knowing Jesus as friend and brother.
Establishing an intimate relationship with Jesus can be unpredictable. Some days we feel He is near while at other times He seems distant. (The difference is always of our doing.) Does Jesus care if we break the Father’s rules? Sure He does. But if we confess and repent He continues to protect and provide. Our relationship with our Savior can never be broken.
The Holy Spirit guarantees every child of God a life of comfort and pleasure if we obey Him out of love and gratitude rather than an attitude of blind rule keeping.
After Adam and Eve sinned they ran from God. After we sin we should run to God. (Hebrews 4:16) Why? Because only from God can we receive mercy, grace and forgiveness. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit can I learn to accept that forgiveness from God, let Him show me how to forgive myself and discover ways to avoid doing it again.