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Pointers along the way #488

Our love for God
- Jacob Ninan

To love God is not similar to loving people because God is God. He is our Creator, Owner, Sustainer, Lawgiver, Judge, Master, Father, Friend, one who knows everything about us, who can do anything He wants, who knows exactly the things that are good for us, etc. Loving God is not just about feeling good about Him, like 'loving' chocolates. One mistake many people make about loving God is just here. They feel nice when they think about Him and sing songs of praise and worship in the midst of the church and think that they really love Him. But to love God in the right way involves relating to Him in every aspect of His nature, and if that is not happening, we may be fooling ourselves with just nice feelings about Him.

Love that is based on feelings can easily get upset when we don't get what we have asked from God. In that case we don't remember that God hasn't stopped loving us (Je.31:3), and that He knows if what we have asked for is really good for us according to His great plan for transforming us into His image (Ro.8:28,29). We think of God as if He was a man (Ps.50:21) and don't recognise that His knowledge, plans and ways are far higher than ours (Is.55:9). This kind of knowledge of God will help us to keep loving Him even when we cannot understand what He seems to be doing or not doing for us.

Sometimes we think of God so much as a gracious, loving Father and fail to remember that He is to be respected (Ro.1:21) and even feared (1Pe.1:17). The result is that we become more tolerant towards sin and presume on His forgiveness as our right (and not something we receive only as a gift of grace).

Jesus said that those who loved Him would obey Him (Jn.14:21). If we try to please the people we love, there is a danger we might make ourselves their slaves. But we can never overdo our obedience to God because He is God. Becoming bondslaves of God--where we want to be pleasing to Him always at the cost of our own desires--is the highest form of our love for God (Ga.2:20). The greater our love for God is, the more willing we will be to deny ourselves and die to ourselves in order to do what God wants (Lk.9:23).

Our love for God will be tested many times every day when we have to choose between doing what we want and what we know God wants. The way we respond to these situations is the real indicator of our love for God, and not how fervently we sing His praises on Sundays.

What we do when God seems to be far away from us is another test of our love for Him. The three friends of Daniel had no idea how they were going to come out from their ordeal with the fiery furnace. But they chose to trust in God even if they were to die (Da.3:17,18). Job could not figure out at all what was happening to him, and his friends were all accusing him. But his love for God and his trust in Him stood firm till the end (Job.13:15).

The more we know God, the more lovable He becomes to us, and our love less dependent on feelings.


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