I have much trouble with this, and I wonder if anyone can relate.
I find that I often make up a God in my head, and pretend that he's Jesus Christ. This God is cool with things like masturbation and pre-marital sex, because he doesn't care. He's all about love and good feelings. He changes with the times and is pretty much just there for when his followers need something or are in trouble. He condemns hate of all kinds, including hateful Christians who would condemn "sins" that are perfectly fine according to science and this loosy-goosey type of religion.
Then, I contrast that with the God who is Jesus Christ. The God we find at the creation of the world, and the creation of ourselves. The God who is present and fillest all things, with a rod and staff that comfort His followers forever.
I'm afraid that I get the God I've made up, and the God who is really there in the Chalice, confused sometimes. I will be about to sin, and then I'll think "Well, the god I know and follow is fine with this. Let the religious nutts have their strict God. My god doesn't mind me sinning."
This has been an extreme stumbling block for me as of late, and I think it's due to my time in another more "liberal" Church. Being back in Orthodoxy, I still have this voice in my head that tells me it's okay to sin, because we have to make God fit the times and such.
When I try to follow God, the true God, this false god gets in my way. My confesser tells me to regularly pray my rule and to attend Church and experience the true God, Jesus Christ, and learn His will. I am instructed to read the scriptures and listen to His commandments.
Does anyone else struggle with such a thing?