The idea of loving God apart from Jesus is not only undesirable, it’s impossible. In Paul’s letter to Rome he tells us, “None is righteous…no one understands; no one seeks for God” (3:10-11). These words are nothing short of terrifying; yet we know that in the midst of our sinfulness, Christ’s grace is enough. “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rmns. 5:20).
Since God’s grace is greater than our sin, we are free to put off our old self and pursue a relationship with Jesus. In fact, we are commanded to do so. I think Francis Chan hits the nail on the head when speaking on this very topic.
Imagine going for a run while eating a box of Twinkies. Besides being self-defeating and sideache-inducing, it would also be near impossible—you would have to stop running in order to eat the Twinkies.
In the same way, you have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin. When you are pursuing love, running toward Christ, you do not have opportunity to wonder, Am I doing this right? Or Did I serve enough this week? When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry, or fear. As long as you are running, you are safe.
Put on your running shoes!