Often when someone first comes to Jesus, their burden of sin is lifted, they are released [instead of cleaning themselves up and then coming]. Then, some well-meaning counselor tells them that now they had to pray every day, read their Bible every day, witness to people they meet on the street; you must do this and this and this . . . . each day. All these things are good and helpful in your walk with the Lord, except when they become a burden to you. This well-meaning counselor is trying to help you, but they are heaping new burdens on your shoulders.
Oh, they didn’t mean to burden you, they were trying to help you grow closer to your new Lord. Those are very good habits to cultivate in your life. I love to pray; I could not imagine going a day without opening the Scriptures and meditating on my Father’s Word. It is a great delight for me. No, it did not start out that way. It grew on me. It started slow and continued to grow.
When you came to Jesus—He became your new husband—you were joined to him . . . but rather than enjoying His life, you turn away and try to please Him by going back to your old husband. “I’ll do this, and this and this . . .” After awhile you start feeling convicted and condemned that you aren’t keeping up with the standard that your old husband required.
Until one day, the Lord speaks to you in mercy; through a prophetic word; or a message like this one; maybe a show on TV; and you come back to God and realize that he loves you freely—that he is on your side—He doesn’t condemn you.
We say, “Is that really true, Lord? Do you really accept me? O Lord, that is wonderful—I’m sorry I made a mess before—Glory to God I am free . . . this time I really will do better. Beginning right now, I will do this . . . and this . . .”
We keep trying to please Jesus by going back to our old husband over and over and over . . . Try that in the world—keep your new husband happy by having a really great relationship with your old husband (or boyfriend). We have died to our old husband and you will never make your new one happy by have a relationship with your old one!
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome