“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are in me and I am in you. Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them” (John 14:20-21, NCV).
Do you see here how beautifully and inextricably woven together obedience and intimacy are? Yesterday we talked about how the Helper will empower our obeying. Here we come to understand that truth in a deeper way. Where does the Helper live? Inside of you. This is what Jesus promised when He assured His disciples, “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are in me and I am in you.” They were soon to experience even greater intimacy with Him than they had up until that point.
They had enjoyed the glorious privilege of walking closely with Jesus for three and a half years. No doubt it was baffling to hear Him say that it would be better for Him to physically leave their side. However, He was quite firm in this assertion. But how? Why? Why would it better? Because now Jesus would not be just by their side, but actually inside of them. He would become one with their spirit. The promised Helper, the Spirit of Jesus, was coming to dwell within each of them personally.
It’s in this context – His Spirit in us… and us in Him – that obedience flows. As Jesus shows Himself to us through the indwelling of His Spirit, we come to experience this truth at a heart level: “My Father will love them… I will love them.” In this place, in this profound understanding of our belovedness, a response of grateful love springs up. We love because He first loved us. We love Him all the more as He shows Himself to us. We love, and a lifestyle aligned with His Word and His will ushers forth from that love.
Jesus words in the previous verse start to unfold in our daily living: “In a little while the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live, too” (v. 19). We begin to see Jesus with the eyes of our hearts. We come to delight in His intimate nearness. We discover that He is alive on the inside of us. His vibrancy fills us with life, and with the power and desire to obey.
Want your obedience to grow? Then ask Him to show Himself to you, to reveal to your deep heart how much He loves you. His love will change you. Without having to strain, you’ll find yourself spontaneously wanting to surrender to His guidance more and more.
Do you feel loved by God? Is it important to feel His love?