According to the Apostle John that question is easy to answer. The answer is when we obey him. Obedience is a word that has fallen out of practice today. Most people don't like to obey. For many it is a humiliating word. A belittling word. It is a word where we feel controlled by somone else. It is a word that makes us feel out of control.
The Bible though has a different view on this word obedience and the difference is night and day. In our culture obedience is about restriction. In the Bible it's about freedom. In our culture obedience is about non-expression of our personality. In the Bible it's where we find the center of our personality. In our culture obedience is for dogs. In the Bible it is for the sons and daughters of the King. There is this huge gap between our cultures understanding and the Bible's understanding of obedience.
According to the Apostle John it is through obedience that we know God. I find this revolutionary. I am a book lover and I go to the Christian book stores and they are filled wih books about 7 principles to happiness, 8 steps to peace, and the like. I'm not disowning these books becasue they do have value.
But... (Don't you love that word)... if knowing God is our complete pleasure (after all we can't wait to get to heaven, right?) and if obeying God helps us know him then it stands to reason that peace and happiness and all those things we long for comes through an obedience to God.
John has a pretty simple plan to finding happiness... obey God to know the joy and peace of God. This is the pathway to true peace and joy.
Another thought on obedience. They way you live your life has greater impact on how you obey God than some thoughts on God written in a blog. The culture you live and breathe in often dictates the behavior you engage in. For example, at a basketball game you cheer, at church you pray, yet both are large gatherings of people. What's the difference? The environment you are in dictates your behavior.
Sometimes we are in environments that we cannot change and others we can. In the environments where you can't make a difference you have to determine your sphere of inluence and then decide how your behavior can dictate the environment you are in. Of course this must be done in a Christ like manner. Think about that gap in our culture's understanding of obedience and the Bible's understanding. You stand in the gap.
That's a few words on a deep thought. I just thought of it a couple days ago and have been meditating on it. Tell me what you think about obedience and it's power to free you and not bind you.
Have yourself committed!
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