The question begs to be asked that if God is all loving without condition, completely independent of my inner or outer darkness, why change? If God loves me and will accept me and offer grace the moment I repent and turn, why not pursue my own selfish agenda and allow myself to be lured by temptation?
When I am ready to be loved, I will turn and he will embrace me-always. And He will, there is no doubt. Mercy always triumphs over judgement.
Yet, is that true freedom, the true abundant life offered by our Father?
Doesn't our God who calls us Beloved offer us, beyond just grace, but abundant life?
Paul asks a similar question in Romans 6, "Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?" He responds with an emphatic, "No!"
God knows the heartache, the pain, and the emptiness that will always result from self indulgence. There is a place of great loss that becomes the conclusion to a series of choices lived out in "my choice, my freedom" kind of living. A lack of peace is inevitable when we persist on being fiercely independent of God and even others. The yearning and seeking for more will be perpetual and unyielding.
Thus, I would conclude when we truly come to know the Father - when we abide in Him and Him in us - a yearning to please and turn away from this world will ensue and overtake every part of us.
The peace, the love and freedom that comes through honoring God, through a life lived in him will be preferred. And I have found this to be true.
You see, it is when we stop abiding and move away from His arms that we become enchanted and infatuated with the world once more.
There is a verse that states "do not receive this grace in vain". I believe vain enters the scene when we persist in moving away from our God. When we insist on self indulgence and self fulfillment. A corruption of grace at that point is inevitable.
Thank God we do not struggle and wrestle with these things on our own. Within all of us, I believe, deep within, is the potential for betrayal of the love of our God.
The question is what will we do with it and how will battle against it? It certainly will not come through selfish acts or rebellion. And, yet, it certainly will not manifest through dutiful obedience and obligatory service.
I believe the answer is found, the true joy and peace is found in one of Christ's greatest teachings. Blessed are those who mourn their sin, for they will be comforted. Blessed are those who are meek and humble of heart, who acknowledge their need of God, who hunger and thirst for more of Him. It's less external righteousness and more an internal of being and seeking, of honoring and serving. When that takes place, the overflow will be fruit that speaks of devotion to Christ. Peace, freedom to live and love - truly love steadies the heart and leads this sort of inner transformation.
In light of all of that, I believe I have answered my own question.