Friday, July 11, 2008

1 John 5

Today is the last day we will spend on the very short book that is 1 John. The author continues his theme of love and how we can express that love back to God.

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. – 1 John 5:1-4

This is not easy. Sometimes it is very hard to obey God’s commands because they interfere with what we think is best. Right now, I am going through such a period, but in a way, it feels like I am always going through such a period. When God says “stay” while you want nothing more than to run it is a difficult situation. In our consciousness, matters become even more difficult because we can think for ourselves. We know our situation and we think that we obviously know better. That is not always the case.

Almost 10 years ago, I followed what I believed was God’s command, and ever since then, I have felt I was on the right path. I decided to change my college major, thereby drastically altering the course of my life. Ten years later, I have seen that path take me to places that have honestly made me question if it is for the best. It is hard to believe that you are following God’s command when there seems to be little development or change in your surroundings as a result of that command. In that time, I recognize that mistakes have been made, but that love that is promised has never faltered. Mistakes can sometimes alter the method of getting from place to place, but we are promised that as long as we follow God, we will eventually get there. My wife would scowl at me for having the attitude of, “whatever it takes to accomplish the task,” but in essence, God will do whatever it takes to accomplish the task. It is only as I age that I see some methods are better than others, however.

13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:13-15

I wanted to end on this because it is important that we keep in mind the fact that God’s will trumps everything. I have been feeling pretty low of late. Today is an especially hard day, but in general, I feel like I have gone through a period of about four months where I have been seeking God’s will only to find it very elusive. Our wills have been clashing to say the least, but I have done my best to surrender to what He wants for us. We can only do as He commands: no more, no less. The beauty of living according to His will comes in the reward. We are promised peace and joy, but that doesn’t always mean happiness. It is peace in knowing we are where we are supposed to be, and joy in knowing that someone far more capable than us is in charge.

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