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God’s Gift—Love Instead Of Fear

When you think about your obligation to obey God—is it just that—an obligation? Or is obedience to your heart’s deepest desire? Do you obey God out of LOVE, or—out of FEAR? I know it really surprised me to learn that there was such a thing as living in loving obedience to God. But what I’ve discovered is, in fact, it’s the only kind of obedience that is really worth practicing. When I say “loving obedience” I mean obeying because we value our relationship with God so much that we want to live as close to Him as possible—not because fear of the repercussions for disobedience. The difference is remarkable. Let me give you an illustration that has helped me:

There once were two women—Maddie, who was married to Mark; and Paula, who was married to Peter. But their marriages were on opposite sides of the spectrum. See if you can tell why.

Maddie would begin each morning with Mark. He spent time encouraging her, advising her, and expressing his love to her. Throughout the day, he would check in with her. Because he was her best friend, she called him quite often during the day for advice or—just to hear His voice. She frequently rearranged her schedule to spend more time with him. When she thought of him during the day–it made her smile. She loved to please him and would do just about anything humanly possible for him. In fact, she was always thinking of nice things to do for him before he would even ask. When people saw Maddie—she glowed with the beauty of one who knows that she is deeply loved.

Paula and Peter’s relationship was quite different.

Peter was rarely kind to Paula unless—he wanted something from her or was just trying to impress someone else. Most of the time he belittled her and reminded her of all of her past failures and flaws. When she failed, he shut her out as punishment. It didn’t matter how much she prostrated herself—she was never good enough. Paula was afraid of Peter, so she tried to make sure that she did everything he wanted—just exactly right. She felt the need to appease him. She actually avoided him as much as she could—doing the absolute minimum in the marriage. When she thought of him, she always felt inadequate and she definitely did NOT feel loved. When people saw Paula, they saw a person who was empty, cold, and bitter…a person who desperately needed to be loved.

One day Paula met Maddie. Paula knew instantly she wanted what Maddie had. She knew she needed to find her Mark. Now, like I said, this story isn’t a perfect illustration. And it’s certainly not meant to promote divorce—but rather it’s simply to illustrate what we all want—the kind of love relationship shared by Maddie and Mark.

Well the fact is—we can have something even better—with God.

My life is proof. For many years after I was born again, I continued to live as if I were married to the world and the desires of my flesh. I was wedded to myself and my own desires because I didn’t believe I could trust God to satisfy my greatest desires. I believed the lie of my enemies about who God is and that He desired to control me because He was cold, calculating, vengeful and judgmental. I was controlled by my emotions instead of the truth. Thus, I was trapped by counterfeit love. I had lived in obedience to what the Bible calls the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16) One look at me and you could tell I was not captivated by real love

But there in my misery, God gave me just a glimpse of who He is and hope surged in me. Not false, unhealthy hope—but real hope!. In my rescue story, God showed me a tenderness and care I’d never experienced before. I was determined to seek to know God for who He REALLY is and—He worked a profound change in my heart. I discovered He is the best lover of my soul. He is my best friend, my comforter, my guide, my source of love, my giver of peace, and my Protector.

I don’t ever want to live without Him.

My friend, Jesus died for us to reconcile us to Himself! Of course He wants to manifest the full force of the experience of His love to each of us. We love Him ONLY because He first loved us! 

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”

1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬-‭19‬ ‭NKJV

When we enter into the love relationship through accepting His gift of salvation [He first loved us], we enter into perfect love that casts out fear! His love for us transforms us. We desire to live in loving obedience to Him because we desire to live as close to Him as possible in this sin-torn world!

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

John‬ ‭14:21‬

When we know God, we fall in love with Him–and everyone can see it!

We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.

To learn more about Kimberly Faith and the mission of Faith Strong, click HERE.

Out Now – Essential Faith, Volume II. Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.

To learn more about Kimberly Faith’s ministry Fostering By Faith, click HERE.

2 Responses

  1. I am so glad that God loves me and he taught me how to love him unconditional what a awesome God we serve amen amen amen.

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