If you’re young and don’t know how to swim, even shallow, calm water can be terrifying. However, when you’re older and more skilled at swimming, water actually becomes fun. In fact, if you surf, the wilder the waves, the better. Something that once terrified you now is now enjoyable. Isn’t that a bit how God’s law is for Christians?
For unbelievers, the Christian life appears burdened with strict laws that resemble voluntary imprisonment. Yet for believers, we understand the law actually gives us freedom; it’s “a law of liberty,” as said in James 1:25. Jesus declares, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) He goes on to say, in verse 34, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” As Christians, God’s laws are like waves that don’t frighten us; we know they set us free from the bondage of sin, allowing us to move freely and enjoy this life.
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalm 119:165) When we swim in God’s law, we have something very steady under our feet. When Joseph was young, in the house of his Egyptian master, the wife of the house tried to seduce him. Joseph was grounded in God’s law and said, “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:8) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were also standing on God’s law against idol worshipping when they refused to worship an image of Nebuchadnezzar, declaring, “We will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18) Of course, Jesus stood fast in God’s law when Satan offered Him all the kingdoms of the world and He said, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only you shall serve.” (Matthew 4:10)
Like big waves to a surfer, God’s law gives us power to rise up over the sin in this world. Outsiders may feel we’re shackled with the limiting rules and commands of the Bible, but we understand the law is a gift from God. “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments.” (Psalm 112:1) Just as surfers need the waves of the ocean, we also need the laws of God.