Bible Readings for Day 7: Faithfulness in the Small Things–Exodus 13:17-18; John 12:49-50; 14:15; 30-31; 15:9-10; Philippians 2:5-8.
If we were to take our cues from Scripture, focusing on the relationship between the Father and the Son, we could make the case that God receives love through obedience.
Succinctly stated, “Christ emptied himself in order to be filled up with obedience.” (ref. 15)
I can think of several other things I would like to be filled up with rather than obedience. (At the moment, M&M’sÒ would be at the top of my list.) Herein lies my problem. As Philippians describes, Jesus understood best how to love God with all His heart. He knew His purpose and fulfilled it completely. I struggle with this combination.
Our willingness to do what God desires is a crucial element to loving God with all our hearts. This call can be found in most books of the Bible. Many individuals failed to heed the call. Most chose their own way. But if we want to become passionate followers of Jesus, obedience is imperative.
Is Jesus a broken record on this topic, or does He simply understand my yearnings for M&M’s over obedience? Why the frequent parallel between love and obedience? How will my obedience enable my relationship with the Lord to flourish?
My efforts to shed light on my own ponderings brought me to Exodus 13:17-18.
What if the process is entirely the point? Suppose God is more concerned with the journey marked out for each of us than the final destination? If this is accurate, He would want the relationship to be marked by learning to Love Him in response to His love to us. But (and this is where my candy bowl overpowers me) we are not like Him. Instead, we are impatient to arrive at perfection. We are not satisfied with baby steps and scenic routes. We don’t want to wait to grow and learn. We have no interest in serving our desert time and taking the long road. Like the Israelites, we want to be in our promised lands or back in Egypt. No, the prospect of the process being the point is not appealing.
He could make us godly through our pillows overnight. That route would indeed be shorter. But that is not His style. Instead, He woos us through a dynamic, growing relationship all the days of our lives.