Believers should realize that God loves us and so why should we obey His directives, even if we don’t understand the why of it?
Loving Him means Obeying Him
Jesus equated obedience to love when He said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15) and He also said “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23). If someone I truly loved and who truly loved me asks me to do something, why wouldn’t I want to do it? I want to please my wife so when she asks me to do something, I do it…not out of compulsion or guilt but my wanting to do it is motivated by my love for her. In the same way, we should earnestly desire to obey Him out of love and because He loves us He would never ask us to do something that would hurt us. In reality, “this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
We Know Him by our Obedience
I have witnessed to a couple of my friends who say that they are Christians but they live like the devil, swearing, cursing, using profanity, and watching filthy movies. I tell them that “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands” (1 John 2:3). There will be many who tragically think that they know Christ but a better question is does He know them? He says that “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works” (Matt 7:22). Maybe they fed the poor or visited the sick but if they were only professing faith but not possessing faith, and they think that they really know Christ and He knows them, listen to some of the most terrifying words Jesus will ever speak; “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:23). It’s clear that if we obey Him, we really do know Him (1 John 2:3) but a better question is does He know us?
Following Him Without Question
It is so easy to say that I follow Christ but do we follow Him where He goes? Jesus gave the imperative command to go into all the world to make disciples of all nations and to teach them the things that He commanded the disciples and He promised to be with them (Matt 28:18-20). It was “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” They had a family fishing business…it was their whole living, yet they left it to follow Him without question. They didn’t stop and ask Jesus, “Why, where are you going? Why should we leave everything…and for what?” No, they didn’t discuss it, they didn’t debate it, they just did it.
It is hard to obey in this world. A person living an obedient life will have to swim upstream against the tide of the world but any only dead fish can float downstream. It takes dogged determination and will to go against the culture but we cannot say we know God and not obey Him. We are deceiving ourselves if we do. We must not discuss it, we must not debate it, we must not question a directive from Him, but we must go where He tells us to go and follow Him…wherever that may take us.