Living His Word
by Doug Mitts
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:23, NAS95)
Obedience can sound or feel offensive. Interestingly, when it comes to God, I can think His Kingdom reflects our democracies. My vote counts and I think it counts as much as His (or maybe more). Since when did I become omniscient? The real question focuses on what I think of God — who is He really? Do I understand Him as my advocate for the best kind of life possible?
Over the years, my relationship to obedience has transformed into responsiveness to God motivated out of His love. What have I learned? Stepping into what God asks of me generally results in an accompanying power, an overcoming of some of my fears and anxieties (things that can keep me from obedience), and being met by an energetic or life-giving joy that follows. Over many instances, or maybe I should say, much practice (trial and error), I’ve noticed I enjoy surrendering to God. I actually benefit from it (now that sounds self-centered doesn’t it). I have also noticed, depending on the context, following Jesus brings relationships closer, heals wounds, permits authenticity to grow, or leads to others desiring to know Jesus.
Yet, while I am talking about applying Scripture, I’m really talking about the interactive nature of a relationship with God — where He actually leads. Yes, His leadership follows or abides along the revelation of His Word, and it fits into my circumstances of life of which He is intimately aware. When the Spirit speaks in those scenarios, following Jesus simply leads to life, an experience of God’s withness with me that embraces joy.
This happens when I admit (confess?) to offending my wife or kids. It comes when I am afraid to open an essential topic for conversation, yet do it out of interior authenticity with God and to benefit the situation. I’ve seen God’s leadership even prompting conversations with strangers. I know. Interesting. Right?
Yet as I do these things, I make my home in God’s presence and heart, as the verse says, “We will come to Him, and make Our abode with him.” My living in the boundaries of God’s Word/words, opens an experience of His presence and love, at least for me, that feels very homey, and comfortable. I don’t want to leave it. I want to deepen it. I guess obedience makes His abiding manifest to me as love. So He’s not only my Savior, but my Advocate! In Christ, Doug Mitts
“O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear.” (Psalm 10:17, NAS95)
- Where have you seen or experience God’s advocacy for your life through obedience?
- What spiritual practices help you cultivate a listening ear to hear God’s presence with you?