by Paul David Tripp
When awe of anything but God kidnaps and controls your heart, you simply will not stay inside God's boundaries. But when a deep, reverential fear of God has captivated your heart, you will willingly and joyfully live inside the fences he has set for you. When the glory of some created thing rules your heart, you will not live for the glory of your Redeemer but for that thing. When love for a certain thing is a more dominant motivator than love for God, you will turn your back on God, and as you do, you will step over his boundaries.
The seed bed for a life of obedience is awe. When awe of something other than God replaces awe of God, disobedience will replace obedience. A life of submission to God's will, plan, commands, and purposes flows out of the worship of the One who has given those commands. Obedience is not the impersonal following of a set of arbitrary and abstract laws. Obedience is being in such awe of God that you are blown away by his wisdom, power, love, and grace, which makes you willing to do whatever he says is right and best. Obedience is deeply more than begrudging duty. It is a response of joyful willingness ignited by, stimulated by, and continued by a heart that has been captured by God's glory, goodness, and grace.
Thus, you cannot threaten, manipulate, or guilt a person into obedience. Only grace can produce this joyful submission in me. Only grace can open my blind eyes to the awesome glory of God. Only grace can free my heart from all the replacement awes that have kidnapped me. Only grace can give me back my awe of God. Only grace can transform me from a worshipper of self to a worshipper of God. Only grace can motivate me to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord until I have exited my little government of one and given myself to the work of something vastly bigger than me. The law cannot motivate me to obey the law.
So, in our disobedience, we don't first have a law problem; we have an awe problem. Awe of God will produce willing submission to his will, and lack of awe of God will lead me to step over his boundaries.
Taken From Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul David Tripp