Obedience to Christ and Experience of Christ (part 2)

The second part of Jesus’ statement in John 14:21 reveals that obedience and love for Christ impact two other parts of our spiritual life. Our love for Christ becomes tangible on the pathway of obedience to Christ. That pathway of obedience leads to the love of the Father for us. Now, we know that God’s love is not dependent upon us and our obedience. But our experience of God is tied to our love for God.

As the next part of Jesus’ statement makes clear, our love for Christ leads not only to an experience of Christ’s love for us, but also His revelation of Himself to us. Obedience is a key element toward seeing Jesus.

Do we want to see Jesus more clearly in our everyday lives? Do we want Jesus to show Himself to us? Then we should begin in obedience. In a Scripture I referenced earlier, we hear it this way:

Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. (John 14:23)

Our experience of God will grow as we choose the path of obedience.

One thought on “Obedience to Christ and Experience of Christ (part 2)

  1. Great reflections, Matt. Here’s what I take out of it – a cycle of Christian growth:

    Our love for God (our “religious affections”, to use Jonathan Edwards’ phrase) leads us to obedience to His Word, which leads us to experience God more, which leads us to love God more, which leads to more obedience, which leads to a greater experience of God, which leads to … well, you get the idea.

    So what derails this cycle of Godward growth? Simply, sin. When we don’t treasure Christ as we should, when we seek pleasure outside of Christ, we sin – and our obedience becomes harder. Doing Christ’s commands becomes a matter of “duty” instead of a joyous love response to God; we become more legalistic and more defeated in the Christian life. This diminshes our experience of God in our lives, so loving Him – really loving Him with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength – becomes harder and harder. We get off the Godward path and hop on the carousel of fruitlessness and frustration.

    This is one of the reasons that I feel we always need to be pointing towards Jesus and upholding his centrality in all things. As worship leaders, as teachers, as neighbors, as house group members, as missionaries, as parents, as people of God’s kingdom – we need to continually point others to His supremacy, to hold Jesus out to others as THE answer to everything.

    We need to continually call others to exalt and love God, which will lead to wild, radical, life-changing obedience, which will lead to a greater experience of His presence, which will…

    … turn the world right-side-up!

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