And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
II John 1:5-9 NKJV
Do we realize that every commandment is meant to keep both ourselves and those around us from harm? There are no harsh commandments that God has laid down upon us as a task master, but all of His instruction is for good – in fact, it is for the best life for us. All of the commandments and all of the law have their source in loving God wholeheartedly and loving and serving others.
God’s instruction is not a set of rules that we begrudgingly try to obey in order to not suffer consequences. No, that perspective is empty and dead religious practice. When we believe, or perspective shifts to understanding that the Word of God is not a list of facts and rules and laws as much as it is divine instruction and assistance. B.I.B.L.E. “Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth” That is a pretty good perspective to maintain.
So if we believe, we will obey – not out of begrudgingly complying to a set of rules – but out of loving trust that our heavenly Father knows best. If we aren’t obeying, it is because we aren’t believing, we aren’t trusting. We cannot claim Him as Savior and dismiss Him as Lord, because it is about our belief, or faith, our heart, or desires. So I don’t ask “have you accepted Jesus” or “have you asked Him into your heart”. No, I ask “Do you love Him, obey Him, and seek His will in your life” – and I explain that these are not separable, but are one and the same – just as God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same – just different point of views necessary to comprehend the whole truth.
Many are eager to claim Him as Savior, to grasp intellectually onto the concept of mercy and grace – but are loathe to offer the living sacrifice of making Him Lord and to truly exercise and apply repentance, holiness, and righteousness. And being a Christian isn’t about intellectual ascent – even if that is what contemporary American religion has seemed to grasped onto en masse. He calls us to “Follow me” not just to know about Him. He calls us to “Love God with our whole” not just in part. He calls for application of His teaching in our lives, a turn away from the ways of this world, to seek a life more and more, closer and closer, to His life example.
If He is just your spare tire and not the steering wheel of your vehicle, I have to ask, “Have you ever truly come to Christ on His terms?” I have to ask, “Are you surrendered today, trusting His guidance for your life as best?” I have to ask, “Do you truly know Christ, our do you just know about Him?”
He is here to be found. He has not left us, we have just turned away so often to chase after the world. Today, let’s seek His will – not begrudgingly as if following rules and regulations – but believing that Father truly does know best. Or if you do not believe that, if you still believe proudly that you are wiser and know better – then you are better off to admit that you are no Christian at all than to go into eternal damnation calling upon the name of a Jesus you neither know, nor love, nor are seeking.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
We are called to be followers, disciples, children of God, Christ’s body serving others in this earth doing His will. We are not called to learn about the narrow gate and then remain outside on the broad way -,we are called to not only enter the narrow gate but walk the narrow path, following His example as the one way, the one truth, the one life.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV
We are to walk in the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in us. If you do not know that Christ lives in you, lost seeker, pray to your Heavenly Father that you receive this gift of His mercy, His grace, His redemption, His guidance, and His correction that keeps you on the path so that you might stand before Him one day, having run your race to the finish, to find salvation instead of judgement.
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:9-13 NKJV
And if you claim with your mouth that you have received this free but costly gift that was paid for by the sacrifice of our loving Lord and Savior – testify to your renewed heart and His presence as Lord of your life by trusting and following Him today. Open up all of the doors and compartments of your life and accept His redemption – as you gratefully follow His guidance and instructions, as you obey in both your heart and your actions, as you walk like Christ, whom you are being reconciled to be like, of whom we are His earthly ambassadors.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
II Corinthians 5:14-21 NKJV