“The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.” (John 14:21)
It is one thing to know something, but quite another thing to act upon what we know, isn't it? I just discovered a crack in my drywall that was repaired when they painted the house a year ago. I believed the repair to be solid and to the uninformed eye it was pretty much undetectable. I heard some settling the other night and now it is back again! I see it - know it is there - but I haven't taken any action to repair it yet. Why? I want to know the best way to act - not acting in haste, wasting time and resources on something that won't last. We all get the same information about God's commandments, don't we? We can read them in his Word and we can even talk them over with others who also know them. It is one thing to 'know' them - quite another to be willing to take action upon what we have come to know. This is why we need a little bit of help in this matter of obedience - the reason God sent his Holy Spirit to be our teacher and helper in the 'action' that is required.
God's plan is for us to live within the boundaries of his commandments - not because he wants to keep us 'penned in', but because he knows with the outskirts of those boundaries come some pretty damaging forces. As much as we may think the commandments of God a 'too limiting', it is those very boundaries we need. We know the speed limit - do we ever push it above that limit? Likely we have, and we haven't had any 'ill consequences' to that action, so we will likely do it again. Have you ever been a little too much over the speed limit and had to stop quickly, feeling like all the inertia behind your vehicle was pushing you closer and closer to whatever stood before you? You likely stopped just in the nick of time, but maybe you didn't and you suffered the consequences of that 'collision'. The 'limit' or 'boundary' of that roadway was actually there to protect us. Adherence to the limit was actually 'predicted' based upon the structural make-up of the roadway, the volume of traffic on the roadway, and the conditions usually exerted upon that roadway by weather. To ignore the 'plans' that went into setting that limit is risky. To ignore the 'plans' that God lays out for us is equally as risky because we don't know all the things that have gone into keeping us safe within those boundaries.
Love sets boundaries - to be content within those boundaries is a moment-by-moment choice. Our ability to 'keep' the commandments of God begins with a choice to live within them, even when we don't fully see or understand their 'protection'. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to help us better see that protection - to help us come to a place of understanding God's protective power within those boundaries. We may not see 'plainly' right now why we are making the choice to stay within the boundaries, but in the course of time our understanding will be expanded. We will see the evidence of his protection and the intensity of his love as he sets up forces against all evil in our lives. Seeing doesn't always bring understanding, but seeing should cause us to seek understanding. Just sayin!