To Obedience

The Love Path to Obedience describes the entire Christian cycle particularly as it relates to how Christians are ideally supposed to obey God and follow His commands. The framework rests on three pillars that you can easily and instantly apply in your life. The Love Path to Obedience rests on the following pillars:

Pillar 1

The message of the entire Bible boils down to God’s radical love for you and me. God loves us so much that He sacrificed His son in order to have fellowship with fallen man. I have to constantly remind myself that I am special and God loves me so much, and not out of pity or obligation, but because He genuinely finds me valuable. The main straw man of the devil in this respect is to constantly remind me of my shortcomings and how I fail to meet God’s standards. The devil wants me to trust in my own efforts to win God’s love and favour. I can’t. I get everything first and only through Christ. I therefore just cling on to God’s love for me to have fighting chance at leading a victorious life.

Pillar 2

As we understand God’s love for us; our automatic response will be to love God back. God created an ability within us to respond to love, especially to His love. In 1 John 4:19, the Bible says that we love God because He first loved us. Without consciously receiving God’s radical love for us in our lives and developing strong convictions about it, we have no basis to generate genuine love for God in us.

Pillar 3

It is our love for God that teaches us to obey God’s commands. In John 14:23-24, Jesus talked about this very thing. Out of the love we have for God, we obey. When we love God, it is natural for us to desire to obey Him and follow His instructions. In Titus 2:11-12, the Bible tells us that the appearance of the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness, and be “self-disciplined,” which is another fancy phrase for “obedience.” God’s grace teaches us to obey God. The obedience from love is biased towards demonstrating love for God and for His children. The Bible tells us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. In context, this is talking about how God loves. Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment – to love one another just as He loved them. We love successfully by being shown how to love. God did just that, and the church is primarily supposed to steward that God’s love to its members who in turn should steward it to the world.

How to catch hypocrisy under the Love path to Obedience

Although hypocrisy is very subtle, the Love Path to Obedience helps us easily discern it in ourselves. Here is a typical scenario:

Almost all of us understand that there is a hell that God has prepared for the devil and his followers. In order to avoid hell, we know that we need to obey God’s laws as the Bible teaches us to. We therefore study the Bible in order to know those laws so that we can obey them. As well-meaning as we may be in this quest, could we end up becoming hypocrites without even knowing it?

Let us look at the situation that the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were in. In effect, Pharisees and teachers of the Law were very strict in their observance of the Law. Yet Jesus called them hypocrites. Paul before his conversion was also on the same path.

Well, in a sense, hypocrisy is similar to treating symptoms of the problem instead of dealing with its root cause. In the case of the Love Path to Obedience, you become a hypocrite when you skip Pillars 1 and 2 and only focus on Pillar 3.

We become hypocrites when we seek to obey God without first consciously receiving God’s love in our lives and developing a loving personal relationship with Him. We become hypocrites when we do not understand that the ultimate purpose of Christianity is for us to receive God’s love.

 

God is not a God of the past or the future. He is the great “I Am.” After becoming Christians, we need to develop a real live relationship with Him in which He speaks to us and we speak to Him in real time. Our top priority should always be to receive the radical love of God fresh in our hearts on a daily basis. To the extent that we have a strong and vibrant relationship with God, we experience a truly fulfilling Christian life.

 

Don’t follow any Christian teaching before establishing and enjoying a relationship with the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ. Otherwise we become Grade “A” hypocrites when we follow God without firmly understanding His loving nature. As we have seen earlier in Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus will not judge us based on what we did or did not do per se. Rather, He will judge us based on whether or not He knew us: whether or not we had an intimate relationship with Him, and whether or not we understood and appreciated the work He did on the cross to demonstrate to us the exact nature of our heavenly Father.

Consider these words: Get away from me, you workers of iniquity! Doing church, preaching, healing the sick and everything in between without having a personal relationship with God is a work of iniquity. It is that serious.

 

My frustration is that most church leaders, pastors, evangelists, preachers, teachers and Christians in general spend a lot of time and effort on getting themselves and others to obey God without experiencing His unconditional love. God Himself knows that obeying Him without receiving His love every day can be dry, cranky and even boring. He pours out His love to us daily to help us enjoy His presence.

 

And you know something else? I believe that the times that Jesus withdrew for prayer, he was not just asking God for power, wisdom and insight. Rather, I believe that most of the time he was in prayer, he was meditating on the love of God, and getting a fresh fill of God’s love for the next day. “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus taught us to pray. That bread is only for that day. But Jesus also said that man cannot live on bread alone. We need to get a fresh supply of God’s love for every day of our lives.

The devil’s straw man for prayer is to make us believe that prayer is primarily for asking God for things. It is actually mainly meant to help us receive God’s love for us.