Well, today’s post started out as something light and easy and the Lord took me on this roller coaster ride of eye-opening truths. Strap your seat belt. You’re coming with me.
I want to obey God. Period. All of the time – without wavering. I want to grow in my obedience and my love for God. I want to be overly sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I want to hear His voice. I want to be very uncomfortable with disobedience. I want to be very uncomfortable with apathy. I need growth here.
Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commands.” John 14:15
Of course I love Him! I could blog about it all day. But. Actions speak louder.
In marital terms, it would be like me saying, “I love Brent. I am married to Brent. I wear a wedding band. We have children together.” This things are true, yes, but they are just words. Facts. Symbols of my love for him. These things do not show my love. They only represent my love. To show Brent my love I want to serve him. I want to show expressions of my love for him. Make his coffee. Call him throughout his day. Ask good questions. Make his favorite meal. Make popcorn and watch Band of Brothers…..again.
The more I pursue Brent the more I know about him.
And the more I know about him the more I love him.
And the more I love him the more I want to serve Him.
The same with Christ. It is hard to know what we don’t pursue. And its even harder to love what we don’t know. Pursue…know….love….serve. I want to show God expressions of my love. I want to call on him. Ask Him good questions. Offer myself to Him. I want to know Him. Deeply. As deeply as I POSSIBLY CAN in this brief little life of mine.
He has led me to this passage and I just have to share. He is blowing my mind today.
“He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21
Bear with me as I break this down. Don’t lose me.
“He who has” my commandments in the Greek is echō and means: He who is closely joined to, in a sense wearing, to have possession of the mind, to hold fast, to adhere.
A commandment (entolē) is a precept or principle.
Keeps (tēreō) – guard.
Let’s piece this part back together. The Word is saying…..He who is closely joined to my principles or he who practically wears my precepts….He who is guarding my commandments…He is the one who loves me.
Me! Me! I want that to be me! But what does it really really look like to LOVE GOD?
I met with a student in our ministry a couple of weeks ago. Girlfriend is so on fire for God. She has had some MAJOR breakthroughs these past two months and the Lord has burst through some stubborn barriers in her heart. Here’s one thing she said to me…”I just want to love God so much better. I want to grow in my love for Him.” What a heart.
The word for LOVE in John 14:21 is agapaō – and it is used four different times in this verse alone. Very important.
At first, agapaō is referring to OUR love for God.
Get this…. This love is speaking of the one (me and you) whose primary object of love is GOD. And it is a love that expresses itself in implicit, unquestioning obedience to his commandments. WOW. READ THAT AGAIN.
We don’t obey God because he is mean and rules us with an iron fist. We obey God out of our great agapaō love for HIM.
So…if I have an “obedience” problem then I really have a LOVE FOR GOD problem.
Is God the PRIMARY OBJECT OF MY LOVE? If my honest answer is ever NO then, of course, it makes sense that obedience would not come easily. I might obey Him, but it would be a bit begrudging.
For example, if Brent and I are having a disagreement and I am angry with him or have unforgiveness towards him – then I should die to myself and go apologize, resolve and forgive. That would be obedience to God. HOWEVER. God usually is not my primary object of love in the midst of a disagreement with my husband. I AM the object of my own affections. I am usually self consumed – making an idol of my hurt, my anger and my not-getting-my-way-ness.
It is not until I place God back where He goes (as the primary object of my affection) that I can obey Him. It is then that I can go to Brent and say I am sorry. And mean it.
THIS IS HUGE FOR ME.
So what happens when we have agapaō love for God? He shows His agapaō love for us.
What does God’s agapaō love look like? It is God’s expression of affection toward His Son, to the human race and to those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Read this carefully:
“In respect of agapaō as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the Giver, and a practical “love” towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver.” – Vine’s Dictionary
What in the world!? Do you see that God loves you and me with the same affection as He loves his own Son? We are entirely unworthy objects. Yet, he has deep and constant love for us and He doesn’t stop there. This agapaō love for us, in turn, fosters in us a deeper love for Him. Then a desire to love each other. And a desire to help others know His love. Wow. Now that is some busy lovin’.
Last thing. I love this part.
Once we obey out of our great love for Him….he discloses himself to us.
How? Disclose (emphanizō) means to appear. Metaphorically, it is the manifestation of Christ by the Holy Spirit. He exhibits Himself to be viewed. He makes Himself known.
OH MY! I could scream! This is too good. Do you see?
When we make God our primary love, we in turn obey his commandments. IT IS THEN THAT he will make himself known to us. He manifests and shows Himself because of His agapaō love for us.
Go back to my pretend argument with Brent. So… I go to Brent, apologize, forgive and move forward with God as the primary object of my love. What happens? God manifests himself in the midst of us. He shows up. It is by God’s power Brent and I can move forward. We can work through anything by the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is nothing short of a miracle.
Lord, I don’t want to miss out on You making Yourself known to me. I don’t want to miss out on You manifesting in my life because I am disobedient. This is HUGE. I understand that when I obey – You appear. Gracious. I pray this speaks to someone today as it has me. I want to GROW in my obedience. I want to GROW in my love for You. I see now that the two are directly connected. Thank You for this revelation. It is just that for me. A revealing of deep truth. Thank you.
Be blessed by His agapaō love.
As always, I cherish your feedback.
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith…” Philemon 1:6