“The one who says, ‘I have come to know him,’ and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.” (1 John 2:4-6)
Sometimes stuff happens to steal our joy, but many times, we're simply being disobedient. We aren't keeping God's simple commands or walking as he walked.
Obedience gives God a chance to complete your joy.
It's not that we necessarily want to be disobedient. Many times, our disobedience is a result of a series of decisions that make it harder to obey what the Lord tells us to do; namely love him and love our neighbor.
Blake spoke last Sunday about the barriers to our obedience for 3 different kinds of people: Thinkers, Feelers, and Doers. As you read, ask God, "Which am I?" and "What can I decide now that will help me be obedient later?"
Thinkers: Decide now to obey him without a second thought.
Thinkers, you are blind to your overthinking. When that gets applied to obedience you fall into the trap of thinking you know better than the one who was obedient to the point of death. (Philippians 2:8) You struggle to obey because you want to think about it and see if it makes sense. The true light is already shining. (1 John 2:8) Trust him. Decide now to obey him without a second thought. Don’t question your brother or sister, just love them.
Feelers: Remember that obedience restores joy.
Feelers, you are blind to your discomfort. You feel like suffering shouldn’t be part of your story despite the fact that you put your faith in one who’s discomfort with suffering led him to sweat drops of blood - and then said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Matthew 26:39) You struggle to obey because obedience often requires doing things that don’t feel good in the moment. The darkness is passing away. (1 John 2:8) Trust him. Remember that obedience restores joy. Don’t resent your brother or sister who makes things hard, just love them.
Doers: Enjoy the joy his obedience gives you.
Doers, you are blind to your overworking. You hate to think that Jesus would be the one to pay for your righteousness. There’s got to be something you can do to help. You struggle to obey because you are so busy doing stacking up good works that you don’t hear from God what he’s asking you to obey. Through the ONE man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19) Trust him. Enjoy the joy his obedience gives you. Don’t wear your brother or sister out doing good works, just love them.
Which one are you? What decision can you make now to help you be obedient later?