What do you think of when you hear the word “obedience?” Many people perceive obedience as compulsory compliance to an undesirable request or outcome. Obedience conveys the strict regime of legalism — following rules and regulations as an unavoidable and seemingly unrewarding discipline.
Now, let’s consider obedience from God’s perspective. What if, as a more pleasurable and appropriate response, we saw God’s call to obedience as his endearing, desirable invitation to deeper relational intimacy?
In John 14, Jesus reassures his disciples that the relational intimacy they experienced with him will continue even after he returns to the Father. Jesus equates love with obedience by affirming that obedience is essential to experiencing unity and intimacy with himself and our Father. Jesus promises that when we willingly and faithfully keep his commands and teachings, he will reveal himself to us in a deeper way. Consequently, by divine design, our relationship with him never remains stagnant. We experience a dynamic, thriving level of intimacy because he promises to make our heart his home.
Your everlasting Father sent his only Son to redeem and restore eternal, relational intimacy with his beloved. Do you desire a deeper, more intimate relationship with God? If your answer is yes, then your moment by moment obedience to him is the key that opens your heart to a deep awareness that God has made your heart his home. Consequently, you will experience the divine dance of intimacy in a union and communion with the God who continually romances your heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that your love for me is unrelenting. I embrace your invitation to intimacy through obedience, and I commit to nurturing my relationship with you. Create in me a humble heart of obedience to your Word and influence in my life. Amen.
Go Deeper — Read John 14. Imagine yourself as one of the disciples. Listen intently to Jesus’ words. Journal your thoughts and ask the Lord to reveal anything that hinders your obedient relationship with him.
Photo Credit: Mikito Tateisi