Who Do I Love; Me or Him?
The other day after setting with a pre-married couple and doing some counseling; I began to think about how we love God. I was telling Djuana (my Wife) after wards that it is so easy to fall into the trap of saying we love God, but having the actions that say we love ourselves.
If you were to ask someone if they loved God, they’d almost automatically reply, “Of course I love the Lord with all my heart.” Every day in churches and all around the world, people say, “Lord, I love you. Oh, Jesus I love you.” However, loving God is not just a religious quote we say to make people think we love God.
In order to love God, we must first renew our mind where love is concerned. When many people think of love, they think of human, emotional love, which is basically selfish because it has conditions; it loves when the conditions are right, or when it feels like loving. This is the type of love many people try to love God with. However, God is not interested in us loving Him with our feelings.
Contrary to what most people think, love is not a feeling. Our feelings, like our emotions, can be unstable. For example, as soon as somebody dies that we didn’t think should have died, our feelings toward God might change. This is why love is a choice–its a decision demonstrated by action. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15. To love God means to choose to obey His Word, trust His Power, and worship Him. It is impossible to say we love God if these things are not in place.
Our love for God is demonstrated by the decisions we make. When we choose what we want or desire over God’s Word, we demonstrate that we love ourselves more than God. So one of the first things we must do to Love God is get rid of self, and its own desires.
To love God means to lose self. Everyday we have to make a decision to demonstrate the agape love of God by dying to the selfish desires that try to rule our lives. 2 Corinthians 4:11 in the Amplified Bible says, “For we who live are constantly [experiencing] being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be evidenced through our flesh which is liable to death.” That means in order for the love of God to be evident in our lives, we have to make a quality decision to allow our thoughts, desires, emotions, and feelings to die daily. It’s impossible to love God, or others, when we have plans, purposes, and desires that are contrary to the Word of God.
When self is the most important thing to us, we will choose self over God’s Word every time. God’s Word is His Will; and we must desire His Will, even above our own happiness. That’s what it really means to love God—To obey His will, not our own.