A number of things in life are simple, but not easy.
For example, I recently had blood work done, and found out that I have high cholesterol. The doctor said I need to eat a diet lower in fat. Sounds simple enough, but boy, it’s not easy! Eating oatmeal instead of pancakes and bacon, or choosing spinach salad over pizza for lunch isn’t bad for a few days, but when that homemade cinnamon roll is on a plate right in front of me, it’s hard to make the healthier choice!
The same could be said of making wise financial decisions. We know we should save that extra money from our paycheck, but who can resist that new dress that’s on a really good sale?
So it is with our spiritual life. The basics are often simple, but not easy. I think loving God is exactly that way.
If we want to know how to show God that we love Him, the answer’s found in John 14:15.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.“
Sounds pretty simple. And in case that verse doesn’t convince you, 2 John 6 gives the same message.
“And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.“
In Tuesday’s post, we talked about loving God being the first commandment. Now it’s time to show our love for Him by our actions.
If I love God, I’m going to do what He says. Why? Because I love Him and desire to please Him.
Following God’s commandments sounds simple, but it definitely isn’t easy. Many of them go against what our flesh naturally wants to do.
In other words, are we always going to like His commandments and what they tell us to do? I don’t think so – any more than my children are always happy about doing what I ask them to! Let’s say I call them to set the table for supper when they’re in the middle of reading an exciting book. Are they eager to put the book down and come to the kitchen? No. Or maybe I tell them that their rooms have to be cleaned before they go to the youth activity on Saturday. Are they excited about that “command”? Not a good kind of excited, anyway!
Sometimes it’s going to be difficult to keep His commandments. What about “Love not the world”? Don’t I sometimes allow myself to be swayed by a worldly influence? That movie, book, song, etc. can be so entertaining…yet I know that it’s drawing my heart away from God and towards the world.
How about “love your enemies”? Honestly, I’ve found that it’s not so much my enemies that I have a hard time loving. But if anyone hurts my children in any way or says something unkind about my husband, I don’t think I can ever love that person! They’ve now become my enemy. Yet God tells me to love them.
And for one more example, how about where we’re told in Philippians 4 to “Rejoice in the Lord always”? Does God really mean always? Like when I have a flat tire and end up stuck on the side of the road when my husband’s out of town? Or when a child gets sick the morning we’re supposed to leave for vacation? I’m going to have a hard time keeping that commandment some days!
But then again, isn’t that the point of this whole series? Love is a fruit of the spirit. I can’t produce love – or follow God’s commandments – in my own strength. The Holy Spirit helps me to do both as I yield control of my heart to Him.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us today to love God with our actions. Following His commandments shows God – and others – that we love Him.