Updated: Apr 11
"If you love me, you will obey my commands."
- John 14:15 NCV
Do you obey God because it is written that you must and you are afraid something awful will happen to you if you don't do it or do you obey Him because you love Him and believe in Him?
I think I have written myself into the previous one; having obeyed because I was told to obey and I didn't want to find out what would happen if I didn't.
Yet, now, things have changed.
I feel like my obedience has shifted from happening out of fear of what would happen to me if I didn't obey God to out of love and respect for God, and faith in Him.
The way I see it, obeying God is not something we ought to do because it is written that we must do but something we ought to do out of love for Him and trust in Him.
Our obedience should come from our love for Him and our faith in who He is.
I feel as though I disobey Him a lot because I fail to believe in Him, in His promises and who He is for me.
I fail to meditate on the fact that God would never do anything to harm me, but He can do anything to discipline me, to bring me closer to Him, no matter how painful the process may be because He loves me and, as a good Father, He always disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:6).
I feel that knowing in our hearts that God is not out there plotting for our demise but yes for a future that we can't even begin to imagine how great it will be, will help us to trust Him more and drop the things that He wants us to drop, walk away from the things He wants us to leave behind, the things that are binding us to our old ways and bring us closer to Him.
I believe that meditating on God's love for us, a love so selfless (while we were still sinners) and so perfect, will help us to understand that His commands are for our good, not to rid us of joy or great things.
I believe that embracing His love for us which in turn overflows in love for Him (1 John 4:19) will help us to obey Him more with confidence, even when obeying feels like leaving a huge part of us, of what we are used to behind.
We obey out of love, His love for us which springs out our love and faith in Him.
I know it can be super hard to walk away from our old ways. That it can be hard to obey, especially when it comes to walking away from something that you have grown used to, that you believe with your whole heart that it is good for you or an essential part of you.
It's super hard. I know from experience and I bet you have your own story on that, too.
I bet it's hard to walk away from family to go on a mission that we feel has been given to us by God, to go somewhere where there is conflict and lots of adversity and yet, out of love for Him and believing in His love for us, we must.
We must go, one step of faith at a time, believing in our heart that God knows why He has called us to do whatever it is that we are doing.
I bet it is hard to walk away from poor habits, addictions and whatnot to align ourselves with the will of God (link - walking away from pubg) but, we must.
Walking away from things can hurt but, I feel like the perspective and sorrow can change once we focus on the reason why we are doing what we are doing.
If we choose to stop behaving in a way that doesn't please God yet has been a part of us for too long, it's important to understand that we are walking away not because God is going to get angry or leave us but because He loves us and more than anyone in this whole world, He knows what is best for us.
He knows why He wants us to walk away from certain things, why He wants us to take certain risks and why he wants us to embrace new ones.
He also knows that you are scared, when you are, that you are reluctant when you are, and He wants you to trust Him, not whatever it is bringing out those hesitations and fears, and He wants you to trust Him because He knows what is best for you and He wants what is best for you, even when it doesn't look like it.
I believe God's call for obedience is out of love. He wants us to trust Him out of love because a lot of great things come from loving Him, comes from trusting Him, comes from His love for us.
He wants us to believe Him out of love for us because when we set our eyes on Him and we place our lives in His hands, a lot of things begin to change, and they change for the better, even if it doesn't look like it.
Though it might sound crazy to obey God, sometimes, we need to believe with our hearts, souls and minds - with everything we have got - that obeying Him is the best we can do because we are obeying the One who knows what's the best for us.
Let's let our minds dwell on the beautiful truth that God loves us, that He is for us (Romans 8:31) and He works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), and it is that love of His that brings the love in us for Him and our faith in Him. Faith and love for Him, which leads us to obey Him.
Let our obedience for Him be a natural overflow of our love for Him.