Thursday, March 29, 2012

Love and Obedience


Yesterday, in a discussion on Facebook, someone asked about obedience in the Christian life — what it is, whether it’s a list of rules, or if it’s the same for everyone, or whether it’s a heavy burden or a light one. Here is my response:
I don’t actually think much in terms of obedience. I think more in terms of loving God and loving others and letting the love of God work through me. It’s been said that we become like what we behold. As I get older, I find that my desire is to behold God more. In that, I discover that godly things flow out of my life, not as a matter of obedience or discipline or discipleship, but more naturally than that.

A few years ago I heard Mike Bickle speak (he is the founder of International House of Prayer, in Kansas City, MO). He was talking about his earlier days when he was a dean (or some such) at some sort of ministry or Bible school. He said that sometimes students would come in who were struggling with some sin in their life. The harder they tried, the more difficult it got and the more they failed. The answer he would give them was very simple:

“Don’t try harder. Love God more.”

Love works in a very different way. It doesn’t think of obedience as obedience, or of sacrifice as sacrifice. It is focused simply on the Beloved. And that is a life-changing thing.