“Whoever has my commandments and obeys them, he is the one who love me…” – John 14:21
For years I read this verse wrong. And when we read it wrong it becomes a heavy load. It was for me.
I think most of us learned to read it first as a prescription on how to become one who loves God… “if I obey his commands I will become one who loves God.” In other words, my obedience transforms me. I also learned to read it as the prescription of how to show God I love him. I will prove to Him that I really do love Him by working hard at keeping His commands…and the harder I work at keeping His commands, the more He will see that I love Him and the more pleased He will be with me.
But what if this is not a prescriptive statement but an identity statement? What if because I am one who loves God (my identity), the result is I now have an ability to obey, and I do obey.
If we learn to read John 14:21 this way, it becomes an affirmation of the truth that our obedience is the evidence of what God has already done in us…rather than it being what we do so that He will do something in us.