We have a shortage of joy in our world. We too often pursue the wrong things in our efforts to have our joy restored. According to the Scriptures, our joy can be restored through obedience. We can experience a deeper sense of joy by recognizing a few counter-cultural Insights on obedience found in 1 John 2:1-6.
1. Joyful Obedience is Rooted in Love
In Christianity, God has said, “I love you so I will save you. Now you obey.” The greatest motivator is doing something because you want to and not because you have to.
• Do you obey God because you want to or because you have to? Is your obedience a joyful response to the goodness of God?
2. Joyful Obedience is Grounded in Knowledge, Not Emotions
Obedience, by nature, is beyond your own emotions. Writer Tim Keller observed, “Obedience is the same thing as discipline. Obedience is a willingness to have your will crossed.”
• Are you willing to choose what God wants instead of what you want? Are you willing to go beyond your own will to embrace His will?
3. Joyful Obedience is a Reminder of My Salvation
Can someone be involved in sin and be saved? Sure! John reminds us that when we do sin God is there for us.
Christian apologist Norm Geisler explains: “If a pig and a lamb fall in the mud, the pig wants to stay there, but the lamb wants to get out. Both a believer and an unbeliever can fall into to the same sin, but a believer cannot stay in it and feel comfortable.”
• Obedience is our ultimate opportunity to express our devotion to our Heavenly Father. What steps can you take to more consistently express your gratitude to God through obedience?
4. Joyful Obedience Moves Toward the Good
The word “remain” (1 John 2:6) is the idea of staying with the Lord — walking by His side. The idea is movement toward God – not that you’re just running away from other stuff. The best way to avoid unwanted decisions and habits is to consistently move in God’s direction and to honor Him through obedience.
You can strive to be able to say “I’m accepted by God because I obey,” and you will always fall short. Or you can say, “I obey because I’m accepted,” and you will seek to honor him out of gratitude.
• Take a moment to thank God for accepting you and determine to draw nearer to Him.