Elisabeth Elliot, whose first husband, missionary Jim Elliot, was speared and killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador in 1956, said that obedience is the test of our love for God.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.”
I have always had a rebellious streak in me which sometimes has served me well but more often not. Submission has never sat well with me; the word made me bristle and inwardly shout “shields up!”, especially when it came to men. It was equivalent to a four letter word in my book.
I looked up obedience in a Thesaurus and submission is a synonym for it. In fact under the verb section of it they are one after another; obey, submit and as you read on you come to a term; play second fiddle. Hmmmm…..that could get our backs up!
No one wants to play second fiddle. We all deep down want to be #1. In our jobs, in our marriages, in our relationships, in our lives. After all isn’t that we’re told everywhere we turn in society?
But Christ has called us to obedience, submission to Him. If we love Him. When we come to realize all He has done, is doing, will do for us and how excessively He loves us, we are given a choice: obedience out of love for Him or my own way which is a path that will lead to ultimate misery and darkness.
Christ says “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” He is asking us to play second fiddle to His lead. So when he commands me to “Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12), this includes:
– husbands, even when we think we don’t love him anymore or the way he chews his food is driving us crazy;
– the friend who has offended us or moved on to another friendship;
– the co-worker who rubs us the wrong way or steals our thunder;
– the child who turns away from everything we taught them and even spurns us.
Our hearts break, hurt, burn or grumble but what will we choose?
Obedience no matter how hard or hopeless it may seem? Or our way which offers immediate retaliation, gratification of spewing of emotions, self justification, self gratification and self glorification but ultimately leads to an ever downward spiral of misery, bitterness and darkness, which ends up killing your soul and distancing yourself from the one thing you truly desire but don’t even know it?
Obedience to Christ; even though it may seem like loss, can feel like each day, each hour, sometimes each minute is like fighting your way through mud and you can’t breathe, can feel like you just want to curl up and die (which you are, to self) in the end leads to freedom!
Freedom from self!
Freedom to turn and find what you really desired most all along, to know and be loved by the Creator of the universe, the One who knit you in your mother’s womb. To have a deep, ongoing, day to day relationship with the Love of your soul!
Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” NIV
Let us encourage each other to choose well my friends!