Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14
Growing up as the son of an Army staff non-commissioned officer was quite interesting to say the least. My father survived two wars (World War II and the Korean Was); served as a drill instructor at Fort Knox; served in the Infantry during World War II, in the Armor Corps in the Korean War, and in the Intelligence branch during the Cold War; spoke Russian and German; and did numerous tours overseas in his illustrious 22 year career. He was a gentle man with a strong sense of honor and commitment to our nation. Because I was his son, I loved and respected him greatly and always tried to please him. I excelled at school, sports, and debate because it brought him great joy when I’d bring home various accolades of achievement. I especially worked hard to please my dad whenever we worked together in the immaculate yard he maintained and then on our family farm after he retired from the Army.
Today’s passage reminds us that we are sons of God if we are led by the Holy Spirit. As sons (and daughters) of God, it is important to please the One whom we serve. The fact is, what pleases God is pretty straight forward but accomplishing the task is far more difficult. As I reflect back on my life under my earthly father’s tutelage, the things that pleased him most were my love for him and my obedience to his instructions. Whenever I was disobedient, which occurred more often than I’d care to admit, my father was not only displeased but also disappointed in me. I believe my disobedience broke his heart!
The same is true for our heavenly Father; He desires first our love followed closely by our obedience to His instructions. I love what Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and anti-Nazi dissident said about obedience, “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.” In other words, as children of the living God, if we truly believe, then we must strive to be truly obedient. If we can do this, it will most certainly please our Heavenly Father.
As a child of God, even though you struggle with the daily demands of dementia, it’s refreshing to know that pleasing God only requires your undivided love and unswerving obedience. You don’t have to build elaborate churches, erect marvelous monuments, serve in the darkest jungles of Africa, or build enormous wealth to hand over to Him. Love and obedience are more than enough. Surely, as sons and daughters of God, we can do that in spite of our disease!