I’ve been thinking a lot about obedience lately. By God’s Grace and Mercy we were able to acquire a dog last week. A 3 year old labrador retriever whose owners were moving and couldn’t take him where they were going. His name is Diesel. Diesel is a fairly well behaved dog. But there are some things I would like to train him in as well as shore up the commands he already knows.
In many ways our relationship with Christ has some similarities. As I look at dog training methods, I like a method that doesn’t entail punishment, but rewards for good behavior. With our Lord, He doesn’t want to force us into obedience. He wants to lead us into obedience as we willingly submit ourselves to Him out of love. It is through this type of obedience that we can be assured that we are His because He begins to reveal more of Himself to us.
I want to point to a quote of our Christ in the Gospel of John to show the kind of obedience He is looking for:
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. (John 14:21-24)
Now Jesus, beginning at verse 21, tells us that those who have and keep His commandments are the ones who love Him and in return are the ones He loves. Isn’t it true that when we find someone with the same passion that we have, that we find a kindred spirit with that person? The more passions two or more people share, the more love you have for that person.
Now I want to clearly point out that the scripture says it is those who keep Christ’s commandments. Not the law of Moses. For the law kills, but by the saving Grace of His shed blood we are saved. So that, again, our love for Him brings about obedience. Do you see that? The reciprocal nature of His sacrifice that brings about love for Him and a yearning to follow that which brings life?!
Also as we are further sanctified in Christ by the Holy Spirit, we become more Christlike in our thinking. Then our love for Him and His ways grow. Jesus said that because we love Him and keep His word, the Father will love us and they will come to make their abode with us. In other words, because of our love for Him and His ways, we will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
So, bottom line is that if we love Christ, then we will be earnestly seeking Him. His will, His way, His Glory from now through eternity.