If you love Me, you will obey my commandments.
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2 Samuel 7:1-8:18
Not long ago, a woman I know proudly declared that she and her husband had begun a relationship that was unorthodox (even by the world’s standards) and utterly unbiblical. She further stated that if any of us didn’t like it, that was too bad, because all parties involved were extremely happy about it. She ended her announcement with, “God still loves me and I still love God.”
Stunned and heartbroken, I sat thinking about her words, and I thought, You have half of that last sentence right. God still loves you.
“I still love God.” I wanted so much to pull her aside and ask her what that sentence meant to her, but from the general tone of her announcement, it was clear the conversation was over. We could accept her new lifestyle, or we could go away. Period.
God has made the issue pretty black and white. He didn’t say, “If you love Me, feel free to live any way you choose.” He didn’t say, “If you love Me, don’t worry about learning what I like and don’t like. It only matters what you like.” And He didn’t say, “If you love Me, just disregard the laws and precepts I clearly laid out in My Word. I gave you those rules for living because I want to protect you, and keep you on a good path, and bless your life — but if you find them constraining or inconvenient, just pretend I never said anything.”
No. He gave us one litmus test to determine whether or not our verbalized love for Him is real: “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments.” And some of those commandments would specifically help my friend make a better decision, if she would but surrender to them:
- Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled.
- Live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work.
- Pick up your cross and follow Me.
- Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- Be holy as I am holy.
We won’t obey Him perfectly, or every time. But our aim will be to please Him. As we seek Him and grow in the knowledge of His character, we learn to make our decisions based on what would please Him, not ourselves.
And if we truly love God, it would never occur to us to proudly hold up a favored sin and declare that thing to be more important than Him.