A life full of love - John 14:21
A life of peace - John 14:15
A life dependent on God - John 15:5
A life of freedom - Galatians 5:1
A life met with spiritual warfare - Galatians 5:7-10
A life that serves in love - Galatians 5:13-15
Each of these characteristics is equally challenging and important to our discipleship, testimony and relationship with God. However, one particularly struck me as I reflected back over the message; a life full of obedience. In John 14:15, Christ says, "If you love me, obey my commands." He then goes on to speak of sending another, an advocate to help us; the Holy Spirit. The connection between our love for Christ and a disciplined, obedient life is crystal clear. It is not a suggestion, nor does He say that if we love Him we might want to consider obeying his commands. Love = Obedience.
The analogy that John provided, which he credited to Pastor Francis Chan, demonstrated how pitifully disappointing our disobedience was to the Father. It's as if we were to command our children, who we love more than anything in the world, to clean their rooms. We know that it is a responsibility that is good for them and is necessary to their maturity. They look at us and say, "Sure Dad, I love you, I will clean my room." As hours and days go by, the room is not clean. Rather, they tell us that they really thought long and hard about what we had said. They studied carefully what the steps for cleaning the room would involve. They got together with a small group of friends and discussed what cleaning the room might look like. The even learned how to say 'clean my room' in Greek. They just never got around to actually cleaning the room.
The real message, especially for Christians, is that obedience is more than lip service. Our obedience must be acted out, not by ritual and religion, but by ensuring that the Spirit is alive and well in our daily walk. That our life is filled with love, peace, dependency, freedom and service. I found that thinking through what each of these might look like in my own life was quite convicting. Now, to turn that conviction into a 'clean room!'