I've gotten so confused in my relationship with God. I think that because He tells me I need to deny my flesh to follow Him, that He must be punishing me. Like, somehow He doesn't want me to have a good life. That is so far beyond the truth and I'm just now realizing that.
To say that I know God is probably a stretch. I know about God, but intimately knowing Him? I'm not sure you could ever say I actively pursued Him. Not seeking Him for the sake of going to Heaven or not going to Hell, but simply because I love Him and want to know Him. What about you? Do you know God or only know about Him? Maybe you don't know Him at all.
John 10:10 says, "A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance." (Emphasis mine)
Who is the thief? Satan! And what's his purpose (and if you look closer his only purpose)? To steal, kill, and destroy. Satan likes to make us think that because we're living our lives for ourselves and stuff and praying once or twice a week it's okay because we're talking to God and that's good. But if our hearts aren't aligned with the Father's, what's the point? What are you seeking? Too many times we're seeking stuff (or "whats") and not seeking the Who (God). We're seeking His blessings rather than His presence. We're seeking happiness rather than His love (which does bring joy). We're seeking an "easy" life rather than the true, satisfying life He offers, but won't be easy.
Look at the above verse again. The 'I' in the verse is Jesus and He says that He's come to give us life, not condemnation, and life in abundance (other translations say "in full"). He came to give you a flipping ABUNDANT life! We're so foolish! We think God is trying to keep us from "the good life" when the only good life there is is in Him!
God is NOT the enemy! Satan is! God is so gracious and loving that even though He knew we would turn our backs on Him time and time again He still sent His Son to make a way! Grace isn't meant to be something we use and abuse (unfortunately I've done that too many times). Grace is meant to change us. God's grace is meant to break us of our ugly, filthy, not worth it life so that we can accept His abundant life. I don't know about you, but I'm running to His arms because life on my own STINKS.
Which life will you choose? Remember the enemy is not God, we just get that into our heads because we don't really know Him. The true enemy is Satan and he wants to destroy you. Don't let him. Go to God. He's got you.