If you love me, keep My commandments – John 14:15 NLT
Keeping Christ’s commands requires willing, thoughtful obedience to what He has instructed. If we want our lives to be “weatherproof,” able to withstand any storm or circumstance that will come our way in life, we must obey His commands. Obedience will make our lives weatherproof.
Obedience is a basic virtue of the Christian life. It is also among the most misunderstood virtues for the modern mind which prizes independence and doesn’t want to submit to anyone for anything. We picture obedience as “giving in” or “surrender,” a slavery of sorts, where we are forced to submit to the authority and obey.
But that isn’t Christian obedience at all. There is no coercion in Christian obedience, you are not forced to do anything, instead, obedience is more of a perfect synergy, where we live in total cooperation with God’s will in love.
The best example of obedience is the Holy Trinity of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Their’s is an obedience of synergy, and mutual cooperation. Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38 NKJV
He was totally and lovingly surrendered to the desire of God—watching, listening, saying, and doing— only what God the Father was saying, only what God the Father was doing.
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. John 5:19-20 NKJV
I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. John 12:49 NLT
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. John 8:28 NLT
In like manner the Holy Spirit “filled” Jesus, and was “upon” Him throughout his life and ministry—“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…” Isaiah 61:1— even empowering Jesus to offer Himself to God. “…For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Hebrews 9:14 NLT
In this way the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, model for humanity the beauty and simplicity of mutual obedience, cooperation, freedom, and love.
By the example of the Godhead, we can understand Christian obedience then, as a voluntary cooperation with Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish the will of God in our personal lives, and in our generation, driven by the love of God, and our responsive love for Him. I want to do what He is doing, go where He is going, love the hurting, feed the hungry and defend the helpless.
Is it easy to keep His commandments and walk in obedience? To walk in His steps? No, it’s the hardest thing we’ll ever do. But, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit will empower us by His presence within us, to live in harmony with God’s will.
As the time of His crucifixion neared, Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray and we get a glimpse of the weight of obedience that He was feeling.
He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:36-46 NLT
It wasn’t easy to carry the weight of the world on His shoulders, doing what was necessary to redeem the world back to God. But Jesus had the synergy of oneness with Father and Spirit that empowered Him. And in the same way, He will empower each of us to walk in His steps.
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21 NLT
He will reveal Himself to us in love.
When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:10-11 NLT
He will fill us with overflowing joy!
And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 1 John 2:3-5 NLT
We will know in the confidence of our hearts that we are in Him.
Dear one, learn the commands of Christ, start with those written in this little book, and, by the power of God’s Spirit living within you, keep them, and experience the love, power, and freedom of cooperating with the will of the living God.