“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
What is the significance of obedience? As disciples and followers of Jesus, obedience is a tangible way of saying to the Lord, “I love you!’ Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (v.15)
Obeying his commands is not a condition for being loved by Jesus, rather it is the sign or evidence that we truly love him. The way we live our life, the choices we make each day, will ring forth loudly in heaven either as "I love You Lord" or "I don't love You Lord"! Loving Jesus is much more than an emotional thing – a feeling some have when they are in a worship service. Loving Jesus is a relationship sealed through obedience.
As Spurgeon said "Love is a practical thing; love without obedience is a mere pretense. True love shows itself by seeking to please the one who is loved. May the Holy Spirit work in us perfect obedience to the commands of God, that we may prove that we really do love Him! The obedience which God’s children yield to Him must be loving obedience. Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster’s toil, but run in the way of His commands because it is your Father’s way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father’s will, and His will should be the will of His child." And as an aside, the best way to know God's will is to say "I will" to God.
We obey the Lord also because we trust that His ways and His will is always the best for us. We may not always fully understand or appreciate His ways and will but we learn to trust Him. That’s why we sing, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. He is our loving, merciful, all-wise, all-powerful Father.
Jesus also promised, in this passage, the help of the Holy Spirit, because quite frankly none of us has the power to fully trust and obey Him. The Holy Spirit is given as our Advocate/Helper – someone who comes alongside us to help us along the way.
To love God is to obey God. How much we are willing to obey is the measure of our love. Does my life say "I love You Lord?" Do we obey conditionally, or unreservedly?
Pray daily for the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and will be with you. Ask the Lord to teach you loving obedience. Pray for a deeper trust in the Father’s wisdom and commitment to our well-being. Pray that we will grow to really KNOW Him in an intimate relationship that nothing can spoil except our disobedience. Amen.