It is normal to question our relationship with God. Just think of Thomas. Jesus loved him and chose him as one of the twelve. Jesus knew he would doubt him. Jesus knows we will as well.
John also had his times as well. John also knew it was not only “do I know God”, but do I know Him in the right way? That is the real question. How can I be sure I know God in the right way?
John simplifies it for us. If you want to be sure you know God in the right way, keep his commandments. King Jesus, the anointed Messiah, requires that we obey God. Following Jesus is all about obedience. Our motivation for obedience is because we love God and want to obey.
John also knows the commandments are about love. Love God. Love everyone else you know or encounter. The focus on love makes sure you have the right relationships. It is that simple.
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
(1 John 2:3 ESV)
Obedience to God’s Word is proof of our love for Him. There are three motives for obedience. We can obey because we must, because we need to, or because we want to.
- A slave obeys because he must. If he doesn’t obey, he will be punished.
- An employee obeys because he needs He may not enjoy his work, but he does enjoy getting his paycheck! He needs to obey because he has a family to feed and clothe.
- But a disciple of Jesus is to obey his Heavenly Father because he wants to—for the relationship between him and God is one of love. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
This is the way we learned obedience when we were children. First, we obeyed because we had to. If we didn’t obey, we were spanked! But as we grew up, we discovered that obedience meant enjoyment and reward; so, we started obeying because it met certain needs in our lives. And it was a mark of real maturity when we started obeying because of love.
“Baby Christians” must constantly be warned or rewarded. Mature Christians listen to God’s Word and obey it simply because they love Him.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Jn 2:3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 483–484). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.