Sometimes my most grand struggles with even desiring Godliness are Sunday morning.
There was a great quote our pastor mentioned. I can't remember it exactly, but the idea was that our obedience should be a natural response to God's grace. Often my obedience seems a chore. Sometimes I am just acting out of obligation. Worse yet, too often my obedience is the result of trying to present some Godly image, because frankly I care too much about what people think of me.
I want my obedience to be a response to His love for me. I want to want to be like Him because of who He is, because of what He has done and continues to do, because I love Him. But I struggle with getting my head around His holiness and the consequences of His Holiness not just on a sinful people, but on this sinful man. Then I struggle getting my heart around His love and pursuit of me, that He'd send His son to bear the penalty of my sin. The deeper I meditate on these truths, the deeper they become. It's beyond comprehension.
I am a "why?" guy. Why, God, would You seek me? You are holy beyond my understanding making my sin repulsive in ways that I am sure I don't realize. But You did seek me and You gave me a new life. Yet I am still wayward. What an amazing love! I am overwhelmed by You.
I stumble over my self-worship or sometimes self-righteous. Perhaps they're often one in the same. But no matter how blind my sin makes me, or how twisted my reason is for going, when I arrive at church, He's there. He comforts. He says, you've got some stuff to work on, but I am glad you're here. I love you. He strips me of the garbage, and points my desires toward Him. Do I perfectly worship there in the sanctuary singing and praising my God? No, but I want to be there with Him and His people, lifting our prayers and praise to Him, when maybe forty minutes before I was wondering, if only for a moment, why I even go to church.
So I've been wrestling with this mornings call to obedience, not to be saved, but because we are. Is obedience my joyful response? Not always, but God Himself gives to me, by His Spirit, the desire for it to be so. And not just that, but in those perfect moments, when understanding is not as important as just being in His presence, worshipping Him, I know it is only by the strengthening of the Holy Spirit.
Father God, please be the center of my desires, make my obedience a joyful response to Your pursuit of me. Amen.