Imagine you pull on the slick second-skin of a wet suit and slip into the warm gulf waters of the Atlantic. Through the murky cerulean water, a sliver of gray cuts its way to you. A face as large as your torso. Eyes as menacing as they are dark. A mouth as wide as your arm. Teeth as sharp and plentiful as your quickened, shallow breath.

Suddenly, you find yourself nose to nose with a shark.

When you’re lost in murky waters, it’s God’s law that keeps out the sharks.

One of the issues many Christians experience in their walk with God (and any church) is often the confusion of spirituality versus religiosity. We can often confuse church doctrine with God’s Law. So, just like our belief in God, our belief about the law matters.

If you believe God is a tyrant and His law is nothing but a cage holding you in, then that is what it will be.

If you believe God is good and His law protects you from harm, then that is what it will do.

Like rules given to little children, God’s law is “for our own good”. In our humanness, however, we want to choose what is for our good, even if it’s actually for the bad.

In our humanness it’s natural to not want to follow rules given to us by someone else.

In our humanness we may even blame God for the extra rules the Christian church as a whole puts on us.

In our humanness we may want to rebel because we don’t like rules, and this may bring us away from God.

Looking back at your life, you may discover your worst experiences and traumas were a result of someone failing to follow God’s law.

It might not have been you, but someone broke God’s law, broke away from His will for their life, and made someone else hurt. They might have hurt themselves.

This is the opposite of what God wants for His people.

When I make a rule for my children to walk through a parking lot, it’s not because I don’t want them to experience the joy of the wind on their face as they sprint along with their brothers. It’s because I don’t want them to be hit by a truck and have an exciting ride in an ambulance.

I don’t make rules about treating each other with respect because I can’t appreciate a hilarious roasting from time to time. It’s because I don’t want them to resent each other when they’re older. I don’t want them to feel badly about themselves because of something their sibling said out of jest.

I can make rules for my kids because I’ve lived life. I’ve been through a lot and I can at the very least make an attempt to stop certain things from happening to them.

You might say “God hasn’t lived like I have” and “Jesus didn’t even sin!” and you’d be right. God hasn’t experienced life on earth, except that he’s seen the lives and histories of every person who’s ever existed. God has seen your worst mistakes and seen the best and worse of every scenario.

God knows what happens if we step outside of the shark cage.

He doesn’t build those walls around us. He only gives us the pieces to build them ourselves.