I have been thinking about the issue of obedience a little further after I wrote my earlier post "Obey or burn". I was wondering if there is an accepted 'limit' for obedience. How far can we obey? What would satisfy God? Or in other words, what would satisfy you or me? And what happens when I fail to obey? Am I rejected? Am I less loved? Am I out of fellowship with God? Does it affect the intimacy of my relationship with God?
If so, What is the remedy? Beat myself up more? Do the confession thing?
Would I be able to go upto "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)? Would I be able to reach there one day and call myself as matured and finally righteous?
It seems like God is heartless to raise the bar to such a height. Remember, the rich guy (Mark 10:17-25), who came claiming that he obeyed all the law? What did Jesus say to him? Did he say "well done my son, you finally made it"? No!
He said, "One thing you lack"! (Oops!) And then continued, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Ouch!)
Jesus's response seems like very mean-spirited and cruel. This young guy was jumping (or he thought he was jumping) a 10 ft high bar, but now Jesus raised it to 75 ft. What was the result? He was disappointed! His face fell, it says. He went away sad.
Was Jesus heartless? Shouldn't have Jesus taken pride in seeing a young person who obeys his commandments since his childhood?
He seems to be heartless for those who try to earn or maintain his favor through anything they do. The statement by Apostle Mark, "Jesus looked at him and loved him" (v21) doubtlessly conveys the fact that He wanted the rich young man to see a gift which He came to offer. Unfortunately the young man didn't see the love in the eyes of Jesus because he was so busy presenting his self-righteousness.
A gift cannot be earned. If we strive for a gift, there is always going to be that "one thing you lack". With Jesus, you get everything you ever need. You are perfected and accepted in Him and then you lack nothing; so you may stop striving and may rest in Him. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?