Growing up, I saw my faith as a set of guidelines on how I should live my life.I saw Christianity as certain "do's" and "don'ts", and if I followed these, then I would be considered good in faith and worthy. As my relationship grew with God, He called me to see that, that could not be further from the truth. Now I don't think this is a negative thing because I was trying to live a life of Christ, I just did not fully understand how to. And this mindset of rules, is very common when approaching faith but as we grow so does our understanding of what it means to truly live a life led by Christ, and that means having a true relationship with God.
I think we all go through a period of this mindset because we are trying to prove to ourselves that we are worthy and then try to be what we think is a perfect example. God doesn't want that, He wants us to realize when Jesus died on the cross THAT made us worthy of our identities as followers in faith. We are born in sin, but Jesus loves us anyway, we are imperfect and He still praises us, a true relationship with God is realizing our own unworthiness to the life we are given, and then everyday have the want to become the person God made us to be. We follow these "rules" because we think it will please God, and somewhat please ourselves, we look at it as a HAVE TO, but in reality a true relationship with God is a WANT TO.
When we love God, His commandments are a gift and we enjoy them, they aren't a bullet point that we HAVE to do in order to get in His good grace. We WANT to experience the work He is doing within us, we WANT to serve Him because it brings us joy like nothing else in this world can." As our love for the Lord grows, our love for the things He loves grows too". This was big for me, my pastor at church said this, and for so long I struggled with wants of this world and I still do, I was being pulled in two directions, I was being led by the Holy Spirit and my own sinful nature. But if we chase the Lord with all our being, and let the Holy Spirit lead us, we will love and encounter what God loves and what God has planned for us. This world which is filled with so many distractions, ego, entertainment, pleasure, money, all of those things will become lackluster because when we WANT to serve the Lord, and when we have a true relationship with Him, our lives will start to be filled with grace, mercy, joy, love of family and friends, compassion, and so much more. But we will never get there, if we wake up and try to follow a list.
A true relationship means admitting our own weakness and praising God's strength, consciously choosing to led the Spirit lead you, and rejoicing in the fact that we are loved by the King of the world, who wants a relationship with us. Not only does He bless us everyday, in ways we cannot fathom, but on top of that, He wants a unique and personal relationship with each an every one of us. We are on this journey, down a road that can lead to so many wonderful blessings, we just have to let the Lord bring us through.
So. the "rules" have changed, how will you?