What is one thing that, if it was different, would make your life better?
Better is a hard word to define, because we often compare our life to someone else’s life, what we imagine someone else’s life is like or even what we wish our life would be like.
Better isn’t always better, but what if, in this case, better would be freer? More life. The life Jesus promised He came to give us in John 10:10.
For most of us that’s more of a mirage than reality.
But as a follower of Jesus, that is what we have in Jesus.
So how does that happen?
How do you change that habit? That sin or negative emotion? How do you forgive that person you can’t seem to let go of?
In 1 John 5 it says:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.
John adds a great word to the descriptions of Christians: overcomers. Victors.
Victory is found through love and obedience.
The first is love for God and the things of God. We know we are children of God because we love God. We love God because God loved us first. We didn’t do anything to gain God’s love, we didn’t go looking for it. God found us and rescued us.
This is important when it comes to change because we often think of change as a rock we’re pushing up the hill, but in reality we’re really trying to keep up to what God is doing.
When we see this, we start to see obedience to God’s commands as freedom.
When we think of commands, we often think of a strict parent keeping us from fun.
Think about it like this: Have you ever found yourself stressed because of a sin in your life? You have because you tense up every time you are on the highway and a cop shows up behind you with their lights on. Which brings freedom in this situation? Follow the traffic signs or speeding?
The answer is easy, but how often do we think we know better?
How often are you worried that someone will find out about a secret sin? “If they only knew,” we think. That isn’t freedom, and yet we keep doing it because we know better than God.
But we don’t.
Victory. Freedom is found through love (of God and others) and obedience (to the commands of God).