Friday, January 2, 2015

A Free Heart

"This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands…This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” 1 John 5:2-3.

The letters of John can be very confusing and sometimes seem contradictory. I applaud Kelly Minter for taking a noble and thorough swing at this illusive ball. It has been both complex and confusing with many moments of head-scratching. But the very fact that God inspired John to pen 5 books of the Bible (John, 1-3 John, and Revelation) I trust that his message is imperative for our lives as children of God.  When considering this morning’s passage, I was blessed with an impression from God to help me gain wisdom for its application.

Last year it was clear (although I didn’t want to admit it) that God’s will was for me to step out of my comfortable life, and accept a position with On Eagles Wings as their Director of Development. It was something I chewed on for quite some time that wasn’t easily reconciled.  It finally came down to this: to not move forward in the position would be to rebel against Him…and to rebel would not be loving Him. So, in love and obedience I walked into the calling He laid upon my life for this season. By loving and obeying Him, the impact lessened the load of our founder for the ministry. Whenever God sees a way to ease the burden for her through my work, she is being loved. Therefore, if I wasn’t obedient to Him by walking it out, I would not be loving her.

One of the basic Christian principles is that IT IS RARELY ABOUT US! The word obedient itself seems restrictive and negative, but I am discovering the beautiful truth of obedience that is echoed in our passage. Our obedience to God will bring blessings to others, while we walk in the ease of the power of the Holy Spirit. The tough part of obedience is living in the tension of the decision, not walking it out after the decision has been made. There is much freedom in obedience and shared fellowship with Christ in the decision. I can relate to Kelly’s description of the before and after of being obedient to God out of our love for Him. ‘For me, obedience has at times meant intense loneliness. It’s meant walking in the exact opposite direction of my hopes. It’s meant doing what I didn’t want to do and not doing what I wanted to. Obedience has required surrender. It’s meant following Him above all my individual desires and dreams, so I can live the life for which He’s created me. Today, I couldn’t be more thankful to have chosen His way over my own, because it was at the table of obedience where I got to know Him. Obedience is where relationship with Christ is forged’ Kelly Minter, What Love Is, page 120. Bottom line is that to love God is to obey Him, and through our obedience we are loving His children.

"I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free" Psalm 119:32.

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