“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:13-14
This past Christmas, my husband gave me a refrigerator magnet that reads, “As you wish.”
Many recognize the popular quotation from The Princess Bride movie. It’s the famous line that farm boy, Wesley, always uses when Buttercup orders him around. What he means, of course is, “I love you.”
We love a lot of things, and we probably tell a lot of people that we love them. And of course, as Christians, we LOVE love God, right?
But how often do you think of the way you love God? Do you “I just love coffee,” love Him? Or do you, “I’d give up coffee for Him,” love Him. There is quite a difference. And it reflects our heart towards God, more than we’d like to think. But we need to think.
Loving God is about God.
I need to hear that again. Loving God is about Him, not us.
Often the emotion of love for our God excites us into doing all sorts of good things for Him. One response to His sacrificial love toward us should be to love others, serve, and give. We also know that we ought strive to live both doing what is right and avoiding sin.
But one aspect that I often overlook in my day to day business of loving God and others, is that loving God also means – doing whatever He asks us to do, in the way He asks us to do it. This kind of love is scary though, and usually involves dying to self, letting go of control, slaying pride, suffering, or waiting.
As a parent,I don’t particularly feel loved when my 6 year old does what I ask but complains about it the entire time. However, willing obedience always communicates love.John 15:13 reminds us that “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for his friends.” Jesus gave the biggest yes to the Father when He willingly died for us. Suffering. Humility. Pain. Obedience. And who are His friends? Those who “do whatever I [Jesus] command you,” verse fourteen concludes. Oh, how I want to be known as a friend of God, don’t you?
So the next time God says:
Take that job? Talk to that person? Stay home from that event? Walk through that illness? Serve the unlovely or unkind? Feed a stranger? Let go of that goal? Get to know your neighbor? Befriend that difficult person? Visit the homebound? Support someone else’s idea? Let others be right? Move to the mission field? Adopt the child? Support someone through tremendous grief? Cancel your plans? Do it her way?
Lord, give me grace to say, “As you wish.”