The evening before I’m planning to blog, I’ve taken to asking Father where I should look in His word for what He wants me to share. Last night He sent me to 2 John and highlighted verse 6 to me:
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
The verse this references is Deuteronomy 11:1 (ESV)
You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.
As John reminds us, the message has been the same from the beginning: follow His commandments. The message from Deuteronomy still hasn’t changed: if you obey His commandments, you will be blessed; if you disobey His commandments, you will be cursed.
I’ve given this example before, but it bears repeating. When you touch the hot stove, you get burned. So then if He gives a commandment NOT to touch the hot stove – is He controlling, cruel, or trying to take away your freedoms? Or is He simply a good Father who doesn’t want to see you burned?
Do we have the freedom to choose to touch the hot stove? Of course! Will He still love us if we do? Definitely. But for anyone who has watched a loved one walk in destructive behavior, you know it is painful to watch. He just loves us enough He doesn’t want to watch us walk in that which is destructive to ourselves.
Furthermore, who are we to insist that He explain why we aren’t to do something (Psalm 8:4, James 4:14)? We only want to know so WE can then judge whether it is valid or not, whether it is worth obeying or not. In other words, we trust our judgment over His.
Do we obey to earn salvation? Absolutely not!
We pursue His commandments (Torah) not to earn salvation, but rather as the fruit that we are saved.
So because we’re saved by His amazing grace, we desire to do that which He says is beneficial for us (Deut 28), which shows that we love Him (2 John 1:6, John 14:15), that we abide in His love (John 15:10), and that we know Him (1 John 2:3). Also we do it because we are exhorted not to sin (Romans 6:1-2) and sin is defined as transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).
Father, give us eyes to see and ears to hear. Let us defer to Your judgment and not try to have our own supersede Yours. And most of all, may we love You 🙂