John 14: 15  – 17 “If you love me, you WILL (emphasis mine)  keep my commandments.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,  to be with you forever, (that is) the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”

Do you know what happens to the ‘Dauphin’, the Heir Apparent, when his father the King dies and he is still too young to rule?  A wise, strong and capable regent is appointed to work with the young monarch.  This is what happened to the Sun King when his father, Louis XIII died.  Louis XIV was not quite 5 years old at the time that he assumed the reins with the Cardinal Mazarin at his side.

King Louis XIV as a boy

What does that have to do with us as believers obeying God and having the Holy Spirit as a counselor?

Today, I glimpsed a different way of looking at those verses in John 14.  I’ve always viewed them as an evaluative test of whether (or how well) I actually loved God.

  • You think you love God?
  • Then prove it!!!
  • Be obedient to all his commands.

Talk about discouragement!

I can’t even be ‘good’ for five minutes!

But what if we interpret the verse following the following logical flow of good news for believers in Christ

  • God loved us, so we are now capable of loving (1 John 4:19 – we love, because he first loved us)
  • If we love God, then we are guaranteed power to keep his commandments
  • Since once we are born again, we are babies in Christ.  It follows that we need a regent, a counselor
  • Jesus promised and then DID send the Holy Spirit to act as counselor
  • We look to King Jesus and we rely on our counselor’s prompting and we grow up in our faith.
  • We start to produce good fruit
  • But…if we take our eyes off of King Jesus and we look at the roiling waters, we sink at the impossibility of doing the very thing we are carrying out!

What good news!  We don’t have to prove something that we know for a fact is not true.  If you’re anything like me then you will probably agree that we don’t keep God’s laws and we don’t love him with a whole heart.  But we don’t have to – in our own strength.  We’re WELL encompassed by expert counsel and have the King’s favor.  He’s training you & me to be capable royal sons and daughters who will one day rule with Him.

What’s the take-away?  We WILL produce fruit to the extent that we keep looking at the King and relying on the Holy Spirit for wisdom, direction and power to grow into our role as a royal and holy priesthood.

Shoo away that horrid American philosophy, “If it’s to be, it’s gonna be up to me!”