Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Obedience is Love

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.  For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  1 John 5:3-5

What is love?  Love is many different things but love to God is simply obedience.  He simply wants us to obey His commands and if we do, we get so many benefits! If we are in obedience to Him, all the areas of our lives will fall into place – not that they will all smooth out with no difficulties – but they will fall into line with God’s path for your life. It all follows obedience to Him. To some, obedience sounds like a jail sentence and it is if you are trying to live both in your flesh and in His spirit.  As long as we are living in the flesh, obedience to God will be burdensome because that will be a war.  But if we have been born of God, and surrender to Him completely, His commands will not feel like a burden.  
When we live in obedience to God, we have the power of God in us and what does that do for us?  We get the victory that overcomes the world – the flesh.  This is possible because Christ has already overcome the world and His strength, and our faith in His strength, is what brings the victory. When we submit to Him we can experience the power of God that comes with being born of Him.  
Saying that God’s commands will never feel like a burden may sound like everything will always be prefect.  But the truth is that sometimes obedience will take us to lonely places, desolate places. We may lose friends, give up our dreams and desires to follow His plan, or do things we don’t want to do.  Even in all this, we still won’t be burdened. Going through something that is hard or difficult does not mean that it is a burden.  By definition, a burden is something that weighs you down. Following God’s commands will not weigh us down, instead they will set us free.  There truly is something different about knowing we are doing the right thing in God’s eyes, even if it is hard.  It gives us an extra measure of peace.  It is so much easier to trust and rest in our faith in Him when we know we are in obedience to Him, even if it is a hard time in our lives.  
C.S. Lewis said Obedience isn’t legalism, it’s a symptom of salvation.  If we are children of God, obedience will be a characteristic of our lives.  Even though it is not always easy, and sometimes we don’t want to do the thing that God is calling us to do, obedience is the path to faith which leads to victory in Him.  What hard place is God calling you to that you are ignoring?  When we experience hard places in obedience to God, they can bring beautiful results in our lives.  If you are in a hard place because you have been obedient to God, focus on how being obedient shows your love for God, instead of it thinking of it as a burden.  
The cost of obedience to the Lord can be high, it always results in fruitfulness. God doesn’t change but our perspective of Him changes as we go through life and experience different things and see Him in different ways.  As we grow and mature, we know Him more and understand Him better.  The more we get to know Him, the more we see obedience as our declaration of love for Him.  Take joy and find peace in obedience to Him.  He loves us and wants the very best for us.  

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