Updates from the Proegers

Obey me or else!!!

Is Jesus disappointed in me?


I think for most people, whether followers of Jesus or not, we tend to imagine that if Jesus has an opinion of us it is one of disappointment if not something worse.  I would have never described myself that way at all and if you asked me I knew the “right thing” to say in regards to this question. However, when I look at my heart a little closer, I find that I have some fairly significantly wrong thinking in this regard.  Many of you can probably relate….the constant feeling that I should have “done a little bit more” or that “i shouldn’t have done that”….or “oh man, I can’t believe I did that again!”

There is a verse in the New Testament that has always seemed like a partially veiled threat or at least a reminder of Jesus’ disappointment in my “performance” as a person and particularly as a Christian.  The verse is John 14:23 and it says

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”  

About a month ago, I realized that I have always thought of this verse as being only a way by which to test your love for God.  In other words, I read it something like this “well Mark, if you REALLY loved me you would stop doing X”  or maybe “well, you must not love me that much or you would be more obedient.”  I don’t know why I never realized it, but it was as if God showed me that there is an entirely different point being made here by Jesus and actually one that is MUCH better!

What if this verse is mostly the answer to a question?  What if that question is “Jesus, how can I obey you more?”  His answer?  “If you love me, you will keep my commands!”  In other words, it is loving Jesus that is the step to walking in obedience.  Love comes before obedience and not obedience before love.  We don’t obey in order to love (at least not primarily) we love in order that we might obey.  But our tendency is to want to go “do stuff” for Him, rather than to just be with Him.  It is sort of the Mary and Martha dilemma repeated in our lives endlessly.  If we could just “do enough” maybe Jesus would be proud of us and love us more…or something like that.

I want to be careful not to overstate the point.  Certainly there is a place in each of our lives to see areas where we are walking in disobedience and choose obedience as an act of love to God.  But I DO think we should take the other viewpoint most of the time, or even as a response to seeing areas of disobedience.  When we see something in our life that is not right, we go to Jesus and explore His love for us and our love for him.  That is where we find the resources to walk in obedience. It is from a heart of love and gratitude that obedience can overflow much easier than merely being obedient as an act of the will.

Let me try and spell this out…..for my benefit primarily and hopefully this will be of benefit to some reading….So if God shows me that I am spending too much time in front of the computer, my traditional response is to sort of have a nagging feeling of guilt of my computer habits don’t change.  I have some notion that God is up in heaven shaking his head sadly at me as if to say “Mark, Mark…why can’t you get it together?”  So considering that Jesus was actually giving me a key on HOW to obey him, rather than just adding bricks to my “guilt back pack” maybe the key is to fall more in love with Him!   Honestly, it is fairly humbling to be 39 years of age and realize a very basic misunderstanding of a verse that I have read dozens and dozens of times in my life, but I would take one of these revelations every day to get more free!

To give a bit of a more obvious example…I didn’t wake up today thinking “Oh Lord, help me to not cheat on Ceci!”  Why?  Because I love Ceci very much so I don’t have to struggle within myself in order to not cheat on her.  I am sure that as I give myself to love her more there are many other areas that she would appreciate me changing ; ) !  So while communication with Ceci is important to find out what she would like from me in order to feel loved by me,  my loving her is prior to any ability to act in a way that is loving towards her.

I hope you see that this is just one example of how we can misunderstand God.  I wonder how many different ways I misunderstand God and, as a result, represent Him wrongly to my wife, kids, friends and family.  God is love (this is a direct quote from Scripture) and His heart towards you is loving.  We are all invited to step into a love relationship with God.  The things we imagine that are so hard to let go of, can actually fall off us quite quickly as we gaze into His perfect goodness and understand what He did for us in Jesus. What if God is eager to show you His love, so that you can love Him back?  Perhaps that thing you have struggled with for so long…..maybe it will fall away in light of the growing love between you and God. Step 2 open hellospy app on oppo find www.topspying.com/ way u7015 and login/register with your account

12 Responses to “Obey me or else!!!”

  1. Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function ereg_replace() in /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-content/themes/olya/includes/theme-comments.php:63 Stack trace: #0 /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-content/themes/olya/includes/theme-comments.php(19): the_commenter_link() #1 /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php(174): custom_comment(Object(WP_Comment), Array, 1) #2 /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php(145): Walker_Comment->start_el('', Object(WP_Comment), 1, Array) #3 /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-includes/class-walker-comment.php(135): Walker->display_element(Object(WP_Comment), Array, '5', 0, Array, '') #4 /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php(370): Walker_Comment->display_element(Object(WP_Comment), Array, '5', 0, Array, '') #5 /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-includes/comment-template.php(2097): Walker->paged_walk(Array, '5', 0 in /home/return/public_html/theproegers-updated/wp-content/themes/olya/includes/theme-comments.php on line 63