“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” -John 14:15
The husband walked through the front door at 5:50 P.M. and noticed that dinner was not on the table. After throwing his coat in the closet, he muttered to his wife, who was in the kitchen, “If you love me, you will have dinner ready at six o’clock when I come home.” Pressured by his intimidating tone of voice, she quickly rushed the casserole and half-cooked vegetables to the table. She glanced at her watch, relieved to be serving dinner on time.
“If you love me, you will obey,” can sound like a threat. When our motivation to obey becomes an oppressive pressure to do the right thing, to do what’s expected of us as Christians, then it breeds serious problems. Obedience that is only seen as rule-keeping ruins the love relationship between us and the Lord. Why? Even though the rules may be biblically based, we will end up obeying them rather than God. Concern with the letter of the law will cause us to lose the spirit of love.
The Lord's words in John 14:15 are not a threat. His words are to be read as a promise: “If you love me, that is, if you make me the center of your thoughts and do your most ordinary duties with an eye to my glory, then you can’t help but obey me for it will be your heart’s desire.”
When we view the Lord's call to obey as a promise, we won’t so much follow His rules as we will follow His voice.
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)
Lord, may I rush to obey You not so much because it’s the right thing to do, but because I long to please You with all my heart.