Feeling Obedient is Not the Same as Being Obedient.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. 

John 14:23-24

I have a dear friend who moved away within the past year. And although I felt in my heart that I would host her anytime she and her family wanted to come back and visit, I didn’t actually ever say the words. A mutual friend of ours also felt that they would host her anytime – and they said it… repeatedly. Guess whose house she stays at when she comes back to visit? Not mine!

Now that I think back on it, there were probably lots of sub-conscious reasons that I never said the words out loud, even though I felt hospitable in my heart (and felt lots of love for her and a desire for her to visit!). We are a busy family of 4-5 kids (depending on the current foster situation), with sports, activities, and church and work commitments. We are remodeling a section of our house, so we often [always] have tools and a mess lying around in that space. And I’m not a devoted cleaner of my house, so it takes some prep time for me to ever feel “ready” to host someone.

But honestly, none of that should have stopped me from offering, because it’s always worth it for me to spend time with my friend – even if we are busy or I’m stressed about the condition of my home.

And then this verse struck me: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)

How often do I feel loving towards God but pause when it comes to actually doing that thing in obedience to Him? Whether it’s an act of generosity towards a stranger or love towards my children, making a big sacrifice of time and energy or following a quiet nudge from the Holy Spirit, God promises to dwell with the ones who obey Him.

Lord, help my response to always be YES when you call! No excuses, no maybe-laters. I’m always ready for Your visit!

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