Summary: If you want to enjoy the life God has called you to live, depend on God's promise, not His law.
Just a few years ago (2010), Audi had one of the best commercials aired during the Super Bowl. It poked some fun at the imaginary “green police” out of control. Take a look. (Show Green Police Audi Ad Super Bowl 2010)
Standing at the checkout counter of a store, the clerk tells a customer: "Okay, so it's $37.08. Paper or plastic?"
The customer replies, "Plastic."
Into the scene walks a uniformed officer who says, "That's the magic word. Green police. You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy." The officer then hauls the customer away with his hands in cuffs behind his back.
In quick succession we see different scenes of the green police arresting other people guilty of minor environmental infractions.
Green police line the side of a suburban street sifting through garbage cans at the curb. An officer finds a battery in the garbage. An officer in charge yells, "Let's go. Take the house."
A man stands at his kitchen sink at night with an orange rind in hand. Suddenly a searchlight blazes through the window upon him and a green policeman orders over a loudspeaker: "Put the rind down, sir! That's a compost infraction." The man puts the rind down and runs away into the darkness.
A green policeman stands on the brightly lit porch of a comfortable looking suburban home. When the homeowner walks onto the porch, the officer asks, "Did you install these bulbs?" When the homeowner says yeah, he is hauled away to a waiting squad car, and a TV reporter speaks into the camera, "Tragedy strikes tonight where a man has just been arrested for possession of an incandescent light bulb."
A green policeman busts two teenagers for drinking from plastic bottles.
As green policeman surround a man and woman in a hot tub, one of the officers announces, "The water setting is at 105," and the couple is arrested.
The commercial ends with a green policeman busting two real police officers in a squad car. The green policeman asks the real cop, "Are those Styrofoam cups you're drinking from?" The cop says yeah, and the green policeman responds, "Please step out of the car and put 'em on the hood." (www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTNzuXZyI28).
The green police are pursuing a good thing, a healthy environment, but they are not being helpful at all. In fact, these well-meaning, but overzealous police can cause more harm than good.
So it is with a lot of “good” people I know. They are pursuing a good thing – a life of personal holiness by conforming to the Law of God – but they don’t realize how harmful such a pursuit can be.
That’s not to say there is anything wrong with the Law of God. Proverbs 3:5-6 make it very clear: obeying God’s law makes life go a whole lot smoother. And Psalm 19 says God’s law is “perfect” and “right”, “sweeter also than honey” (Psalm 19:7-8, 10). God’s law is good, but one’s well-meaning, overzealous pursuit of it can do more harm than good.
So shat are you supposed to do if not try as hard as you can to live in obedience to God’s law? What are you supposed to do to find a life of personal holiness, which you know is good for you? What are you supposed to do to enjoy the life God has called you to live without doing more harm than good? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Galatians 3, Galatians 3, where the Bible tells us what to do.
Galatians 3:15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. (ESV)
God’s promises cannot be annulled or amended. Once He makes a promise, it stands forever.
Galatians 3:16-18 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. (ESV)
Your inheritance in Christ comes through a promise, not through a law. And therein lies the secret to living the life God wants you to live without all the struggle. If you want to enjoy life as God intended it, then…
DEPEND ON GOD’S PROMISE, not His law.
Live your life not by keeping the rules to earn God’s favor, but with the sure and certain knowledge that He already favors you unconditionally. In other words, let your obedience come not in order to BE blessed, but in the realization that God has ALREADY blessed you.