Robotic Obedience or Spontaneous Worship?

The Divine Purpose for the Creation of Mankind

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Why Did the LORD Create Mankind?

“If God were your Father, ye would love me …” John 8:42

Love this verse …. This stands out ….. John 8:42. Read it again the meditate on what Jesus is conveying here. Loving God is the divinely revealed priority and when we love God then we will obey and please Him. The first order of obedience is in loving Him!

Previously Jesus told these very religionists He is addressing above (John 8:42) that they knew His Word but refused to come to Him – to love, worship, and fellowship with Him. See John 5:39-44.

“Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.” John 8:42

The first and foremost proof that we are of God is that we love Him. Do I really love Him? Are my outward actions simply masking or seeking to compensate for my lack of truly loving Him?

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” Galatians 5:6-7 

We trust Him because we love Him. Faith is an essential and is it not enabled and made possible as we choose to love and worship the LORD? In the passage above the apostle is chiding the Galatians for leaving Christ Himself for law. False teachings and false teachers had led them away from Christ and to a law-keeping, works-based system.

Did Christ not rebuke the Ephesians for leaving their “first love”? Did He not call them to “repent” which means they were outside of His fellowship and thereby in jeopardy? Is Jesus my “first love”? Is Jesus your very “first love”? See Revelation 2:1-5.

It seems apparent from the whole of Scripture that in the end, it’s only those who truly choose to love the LORD who will be with Him.

I must ask myself: Is there any person or thing that I love more than Jesus?

Didn’t Jesus place a higher priority on Mary’s worship of Him? Remember how she sat at His holy feet? (Luke 10:38-42)

Debbie Lord notes:

“And as we are living a life of worshipping God, HE opens our eyes, ears and hearts to receive His grace to know what and how to do what kingdom work He is calling us to do! It’s not the “works” first, but being captivated by Who He is first, and the “works” flow out of that awareness!”

Choosing to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the choice He gives each of us today. Many emphasize obedience and we know that such is biblical and yet, perhaps we neglect the worship of the LORD and truly and sincerely loving Him today.
 
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
 
In pondering the above words of Christ, will we not be able to truly love our neighbors when we first and foremost engage in loving God? Will His love not consume us for others?
 
Did you catch that? The command of God is to love Him. Are we obeying this command? Are you delighting in Him? Saint, do you relish and cherish Christ with the affections of your heart?
This message is no attempt to minimalize obeying God. No, instead it is attempting to draw our attention to obey the foremost divine command to love the LORD with all of our hearts.
 
Jesus alone can save – not our obedience. The Father and the Word, and the Holy Ghost bear record in Heaven and on earth and are Persons (1 John 5:7-8). Yes, if we truly love Him we will obey Him (John 14:15-23, etc.). Yet what is the divinely stated priority? Is it obedience or is it worship, love, and fellowship?
 
Did the LORD create us in His image for mere rote obedience or for fellowship? The testimony of all of Holy Scripture reveals that God made man to fellowship with. Here’s an example:
 
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
 
Did Jesus not inform us as to why God made us?
“And this is life eternal (the divine and chief purpose for it), that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
Notice that when Jesus was tempted by Satan (who has no relationship with the LORD), the Son of God said this:
 
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8
 
We must not divorce ourselves from His love and our privilege to love and to worship the LORD. The imbalance that occurs from being silent about loving and truly and joyfully worshiping the LORD, creates and fosters a self-righteousness and law-keeping environment that is void of His love and causes there to be a biting and devouring among people (Galatians 5:15).
 
Is God simply looking for rote, mechanical obedience? “God is love,” right? (1 John 4:8, 16) Obedience will always be the fruit of truly loving the LORD with our whole hearts. Let’s peer into a portion of 1 John to further discover that worship, love, and fellowship are premiums in our LORD’s kingdom economy:
 
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have FELLOWSHIP with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  … And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. :3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 1:3; 2:3-6 
 
Seems like the LORD is leading me to more thoroughly consider this truth of loving Him, worshiping Him, and therefore seeking His holy face. All our religious activity is meaningless to Him if we don’t first and foremost love Him with the affections of our hearts. Obeying His commands while refusing to engage in a relationship with Him would be like being married to someone who outwardly does what you like but never opens their heart to you. No real relationship. Ever been there?
Is it self-serving to focus only on OUR obedience to the LORD? Do we seeking to show others how much we love Christ? Is that our motivation? Or, is simply knowing Him our motive and pursuit?
Didn’t Jesus tell us that only “IF ye love me, keep my commandments”? (John 14:15) Please ponder this: Seems like Christ is saying that our obedience to Him only matters “IF” we first love Him. Please read those words above again and Selah.
 
Love is a Choice and Requires Action on Our Part
 
God sacrificed His only begotten Son to give us a relationship with Him. Motivated out of His holy love for mankind and established by the divine action of sending for us the Lamb of God, we have been redeemed to Him to know and worship and enjoy fellowship.
 
In the end, when perfect justice is meted out, all who chose freely to love themselves instead of loving the LORD, will be eternally damned.
 
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
 
Obedience is Futile if We Don’t Truly Engage in a Relationship with the LORD
 
“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house (presence) of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. … When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalms 27:4, 8
 
Do we desire Jesus? If so, we will say with David, the man after God’s own heart – choosing His presence as the “One thing” that is supremely most important to us. The unchanging LORD is calling us to seek His face just as He did with David. May God bless us to answer as did David – “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” 
 
ANYONE can pound obedience, obedience, obedience. Yet spontaneously loving and worshiping and rejoicing in fellowship with the LORD involves the actual heart emotions being actively engaged in an intimate, abiding, ongoing fellowship with the LORD (John 15:1-16). Do we not present an imbalance when we speak only of rote obedience while neglecting to speak of loving the LORD from and with our whole hearts?
 
Doesn’t the obedience that pleases God come out of the love we have for Him … the worship-filled fellowship? Isn’t our relationship-less obedience futile if our hearts are not filled with His love – if we are not actively choosing to love and therefore seek His holy face? Remember the love chapter? Remember how it first and foremost speaks of the vanity of not loving the LORD?
 
Note that in the love chapter, by divine design, the beginning of this discourse established the priority of loving God and only thereafter (vs 4-8) does He speaks of the fruit of that relationship.
 
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 
 
Seeking the LORD Pleases Him
 

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

Jesus tells us here that as we seek Him – hungering and thirsting for more of Him, we “shall be filled” and those who are filled by Christ and with Christ, will please Him in all things.

 

When we love, cherish the LORD and therefore seek His face, will He not bestow upon us His blessed grace and deliver us?

Many times we hear the first verse of the following passage. Seems like we lift that verse out of its context to satisfy our own self-serving interests. Yet, take a peek at the passage:

 
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:12-14
 
Seeking His Face
 
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
 
Is divine grace (divine enablement) not poured into the hearts of those who seek His holy face continually? And, does that grace not empower us thereby to obey and please Him in all things?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please teach me Your ways. Let Thy cross permeate my life that sinful self will be separated thereby so that Jesus Christ alone can reign! Break me and bless this vessel to be full of Your love and to hasten to You – to love You with all of my being. Unite my heart to fear You and to delight in fellowship with You, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Author of several enlightening and influential books on subjects ranging from false prophets, end times, the original lie of Satan to mankind, evangelism, last day / end times victory, and the daily walk of an authentic disciple. Todd’s books can be found on BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and on SafeGuardYourSoul.com. His websites include SafeGuardYourSoul.com, GreatCommissionAdventure.com. A former Marine, contracted to NASA, youth pastor, TV show host, Bible College class president, and member of numerous churches throughout the south, by the saving grace of Jesus Christ Todd has and continues to learn to set aside all that involves the philosophies and whims of mere men to follow the King of the kingdom as a simple servant. His sincerity and ability to speak on a variety of topics from a broad and edifying perspective, and with a humble candor, is refreshing. Todd has an obvious understanding that he is nothing without Jesus and yet, by the working of divine grace, his Gospel tracts, articles, Moments with My Master email devotional, and books have taught, encouraged, and inspired thousands. Todd Tomasella is the author of several Christian, non-fiction books, hundreds of articles, devotionals, audios, tracts, videos, Bible school curriculum, and study guides. No matter the format utilized, the divine mandate is simply getting people into God's Word for themselves (Nehemiah 8:8; Habakkuk 2:2; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). Let’s Grow Together! Sign up here to begin receiving the Moments with Our Master email devotional that is sure to help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:2; 3:18). It’s sent out 1-2 times weekly for the edification and equipping of the body of Christ. Sign Up HERE: info@safeguardyoursoul.com

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