For those who desire to stay in close fellowship with God and enjoy the blessings associated with that fellowship, there’s a critical truth that has to be understood and applied constantly and consistently. Here it is, you cannot abide in God’s love without obeying God’s commandments. Just look at what Jesus said about abiding in John 15.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10
When Jesus taught His followers about abiding He used the analogy of the vine and the branch’s and He talked about how our Father is glorified when we bear much fruit. You can’t bear fruit without abiding and you can’t abide without obeying. So just follow me on this for a minute. What this means is that you can pray all day long, but if you’re not obeying God, you’re not abiding. You can also read and study the scriptures with passion, but if you’re not obeying God, you’re not abiding in God’s love. You can go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and every time the doors are opened and even have the keys to the building, but if you’re not obeying God, you’re not abiding in God’s love. What this means is that all the religious activity you can do can never take the place of obeying what God tells you to do. Like the title says, you may not like this. What’s happened is that we’ve become pretty good at religious talk and religious activity, but if we’re honest, we still struggle with obedience.
The specific command to obey so you can abide is, love one another. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12 There very well maybe some difficult people in your life who you need to love. Let me encourage you to look beyond them and don’t allow them to kill your ability to abide in God’s love. Only when your desire to abide in God’s love is matched with your obedience to love others, will God’s joy abundantly flow in your life. You can actually tell God when you are struggling with loving some one and then ask for the power to love them because you want to abide in Him.