I have shared previously that I am working through Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God , authored by Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, and Claude King. One concept I am pondering is the repeated assertion that…
If you have an obedience problem, you have a love problem.” ~ Experiencing God
The authors cite multiple Bible verses to support this statement, including the following:
If you love me, keep my commands.” ~ John 14:15
Throughout the Bible, obedience and love for God are intertwined. If you love God, you’ll do what He says to do. If you don’t do what God says to do, that’s evidence of a lack of love for Him. In our humanity, we try to make things more complex, but the Bible says it’s really that simple: If you love God, you’ll do what He says to do. If you don’t love God, you won’t. And that’s why the authors says that if you have a problem with obeying God, then you have an issue with loving God.
Like most people, I struggle with obedience. At the end of the day, I want to do what looks good to me. However, as I have been pondering with my series on the enormity of God, I have a limited perspective, so what I view as “good” or “bad” from my teeny tiny sliver of space and time might be very off-base from the perspective of everywhere and “everywhen.” Note that I have included no mention of love in my explanation for my desire to do things the way that look good to me.
To see the connection between obedience and love, I must believe that God’s Word is true – that my willingness to obey God reflects my love for Him while my refusal to obey Him reveals my lack of love. From my teeny tiny sliver in space and time, I don’t see that connection, but the Bible says it is true. However, I do see that doing what **I** want keeps me focused on myself rather than on God, which does point to a lack of love.
While I might not fully grasp the connection between love and obedience, I have found that it’s easier to obey God out of a motivation of love. For example, when I was in the early stages of forgiving my child abusers, I prayed, “I hate my abusers, but I love you more. Help me forgive them out of love for You.” When I focus on my love for God rather than on myself, I find it much easier to obey Him.
Cover of Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Courtesy Amazon.