Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Uncompromising Abandonment

You've heard me say before, Jon Walker is one of my favorite devotional writers. Today's message brought to mind the days of sitting across the kitchen table from my Dad when I had disobeyed. I was a pleaser by nature, but upon a few occassions I decided own way (in direct contrast to that of my parents) was a better option. I vividly remember one particular kitchen discussion. My Dad asked "Do you love your Mom and I?" "Yes." "I mean really love us?" "Of course, I do, Dad." His response, "I don't think you do." I felt my eyes grow wide in surprise. "If you loved us, really loved us, you would have obeyed our wishes out of respect." Gulp. Then on a sheet of paper, he wrote

"Love + Respect = Obedience."

He looked at me and said, "it's that simple" and then he got up from the table and walked away. One of the most powerful (and lasting) things he ever taught me.

So how does this relate to Jon Walker's message? It's based on John 14:15 "If you love me" (really love me), "you will obey what I command."

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When Jesus speaks of love, he allows no room for sentimental fantasy or momentary emotion. He sees love through the eyes of the Father, who models love by being Love. God-Love is bold, strong, and sacrificial. God is not afraid to wade into the mess of things to rescue those in need of holy love.

God plants this love inside us, but it grows healthy in the soil of abandonment. We abandon our rights, our judgments, our opinions, and our schemes. Jesus is uncompromising in his abandonment, saying he says and does only what the Father tells him to do (John 14:10). Then, he carried uncompromising abandonment on his back up the hill called Golgotha.

In order to grow Jesus-Ones, we, too, need to abandon anything that sets us in rebellion to the Father. The Jesus-life requires that our thoughts and plans become so close to the Father’s that we appear as one with him, just as a married couple, deeply abandoned to each other, appear to live as one.

Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15, NIV) Walk around that statement and open you eyes to this: Jesus isn’t reducing love to dutiful acts of obedience; he’s saying your love for him should compel you to agree with his plans and to carry out his purposes, not your own.

Abandonment is possible because you have Jesus within (Christ-in-you), helping you to love and obey. Let him lead you to that place where you heart begins to beat so closely with God’s that it’s difficult to distinguish between the two. Love God, and in the intimacy of that love, do what pleases him – that is, obey his heart.

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Just a little something from Judy said...

I like how you illustrated this with the story of your dad and what he wrote to you. Helps me see how crucial wise parenting is, especially since you said, "that what he wrote stuck with you." My dad would often say, "obedience always brings blessing." At some of those times, I did not agree with him, but now it makes so much sense. Inspiring post my friend.

Faith in Writing said...

Wow I love what your dad said to you. That's a very powerful lesson.

Lelia Chealey said...

I loved how your Dad handled that. Such wisdom! Mind if I borrow it for our kids? :)
Great lesson here...I'm glad you shared it with us.

Jennifer said...

Love + Respect = Obedience!! I love that - and, yes, how powerful!! Isn't it wonderful how clearly you remember it..and your dad's (short) talk...after all this time! Parenting at its finest.

Great application for us as children of our Heavenly Father also! Thanks for your post! And for the link to the devotions.

Have a great day!

LisaShaw said...

Beautiful, tender, powerful, corrective analogy! WOW! how often does the LORD say to us, "do you love me? really?"

LORD, help us to worship you with the fruit of our lives. I shared that on my FB today and it's been ringing in my heart all day. I so want to please HIM.

I love you sweet one.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Did I need this today! I can so see your dad doing this. :-) A great reminder that the most poignant lessons can be learned with such a simple formula!

Becky said...

What a WONDERFUL post!

I've written down this wisdom to put in my "Remember when my child disobeys" file. ;)

Thank you so much for sharing that!