1 Corinthians 8:3 But the man who loves God is known by God.
In these past few days we’ve seen that we love God by obeying His commands. If we want to love Him, He has given us a very precise answer on the way it is done – the only way it is done. And it is something that we can grow in. Our ability to love Him is not static – He intends for it to grow all the days of our lives! When Jesus said to walk in His ways, this is what He meant. Think of the intimacy reflected in today’s verse for the ones who do.
I would like to offer a different perspective on commands for your consideration. January 21, 2005 while in Brazil with our son and family, I was struggling with this whole issue of truly loving God. That evening, in a wonderful experience with the Lord and His presence, He brought to mind a movie that has been a favorite of our family. The movie contains something that He just opened to me that night that continues to bless me to this day. (I love to reread my journal entry where this is all recorded)
Have you seen the movie Princess Bride? Peter Falk is a grandpa reading a love story to his grandson – the story of Princess Buttercup and her servant Wesley. Every time she gives Wesley a command to do something he utters the phrase, “As you wish.” Her “wish” is his command.
It becomes clear in the movie that “As you wish” means “I love you”. They go through all manner of adventures and the movie has a wonderful ending. For the sake of this illustration, don’t think of God’s commands as commands, but think of them as His wishes. So, we are responding to wishes instead of commands.
Then think of being in love. You want your loved one to share with you their wishes – to which you respond, “As you wish.” (Remember the expression ‘Your wish is my command!’) You then go and do what they wish to bless them and please them and be overwhelmed with joy as you do. God shares His “wishes” with us in His word.
All of His “wishes” become opportunities for you to lovingly say to Him, “As you wish.” “As you wish.” “As you wish.” Each and every time is your opportunity to love Him by what you do, and to say “I love you” to Him. Your heart will be filled with the desire to learn and embrace all of His “wishes” so that you can do more and more of them.
Then, there are the times when we sin, and with painful remorse we come to the Lord and say, “Father – forgive me.” To which He replies, “As you wish.”
(*Note: A few months later John Ortberg, my favorite author, came out with a book titled, God Is Closer Than You Think. It has a chapter titled “As You Wish”)