“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). John the beloved was a man who loved Jesus, and he was desperate for Christians to walk in love. He is known in scripture as the disciple whom Jesus loved. The books in the Bible that were penned by his name have the common thread of love through them, and he did not mix words in his letters. You are either for Christ or you are against Christ. In 1 John 1:5 he says: “God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” How then do we walk in light, as God is light, and have fellowship with Him? Jesus told his disciples that if they truly loved Him, then they would obey His commands. John captured the story in John 14:15-31 where Jesus comforted His disciples prior to His arrest and crucifixion. Jesus promised them that if they obeyed what He had taught them, then He would ask the Father to send them the Spirit of Truth. He went on to describe how He is one with the Father, and the Father is one with Him. Just as they are one with each other, they are one with Holy Spirit as well. “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own, they belong to the Father who sent me’” (John 14:23-24). There are two sides to this proverbial coin. As Christians who obey the teachings of Jesus, we are showing our love for Him. In living this way, we open ourselves up for God to come and make His home in us as His temple! Jesus went on to tell the disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to remind us of all that Jesus taught. We can always rely on Holy Spirit to point us toward Jesus. The other reality is that those who do not obey the teachings of Jesus are those who do not love Him. This may seem like a harsh statement, but it is Biblically accurate. In reality, they often love themselves more than they love Him. Those who fall into this category are showing by their actions that they have aligned themselves with the world instead of with God. They continue to walk in darkness, even if they claim to have fellowship with Him.
Reliance on Holy Spirit
Being obedient to the teachings of Jesus is not a hard thing to do when we are reliant on Holy Spirit’s power to guide us. In fact, when we love someone, we are motivated to do what pleases them because of our love for them. Those who are married would not do something to disappoint their spouse based on a set of rules that they live by or have been given. Rather, they choose to do things that would be pleasing to their spouse because of the relationship that they have together. They would not want to do anything that would harm their relationship and put distance between themselves and their spouse. In the same way, it pleases the Father when we live in a manner where we allow Holy Spirit to guide us through life, and remind us of the things that Jesus taught.
Just as Jesus is one with the Father, we are to be one with Holy Spirit. There is nothing that we cannot overcome if we are obedient to the commands of God, and this is because Holy Spirit empowers us to be obedient out of love for God. Where we might sometimes not choose correctly in our own strength, the Holy Spirit gives us power to make decisions that are in obedience to what Christ has taught us in the face of temptation to choose otherwise. We see Jesus telling the disciples that the spirit of man is willing, but the flesh is weak when they could not stay awake to pray with him in Gethsemane, in Matthew 26:41. We can see from this story that even when we want to do the right thing, our flesh will sometimes let us down. Fortunately for us, Holy Spirit has come from Heaven to help empower us to overcome worldly desires of the flesh. Not only does He remind us of what Jesus taught, but He strengthens us to make good life decisions in accordance with those teachings. We have been set up for success with the tools needed to be obedient. “This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:3-4). Be encouraged today to walk in the light and follow the commands of our Lord. Don’t just know what the Bible says; do what it says. In this you are showing your love for God and you are aligning yourself with Him. Like the apostle John, be known for your love of Christ and His love for you. Allow love to motivate your obedience.