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Pointers along the way #544

Measure our love for God
- Jacob Ninan

It is very easy when we sing songs of worship to God to voice superlatives about God and say how we love Him, and then to believe that we really love Him much. We may be quite sincere at that point, and we may really desire to be true to that. But this type of occasion is different from real life situations, and the love for God we show in our daily life may be very different. When we are singing God's praise our emotions may be high. But our love for God cannot be measured in terms or emotions (even though if we never experience emotional highs at all as we think about God we should conclude that our 'love' is only a notional love). If we are truly in love with God, it will show in every aspect of the way we live our daily life.

Just as someone who loves another person thinks often about the other, so will we if we love God. Even when we are busy with our work, our thoughts will often return to God. We will be conversing with Him, asking Him for help in different situations, thanking Him for His love and mercies, praying for His mercy on others we meet, remembering His word which we have learnt, learning more and more as He gives insight, etc. This describes our praying without ceasing (1Th.5:17), giving thanks in everything (v.18), finding mercy and help in times of need (He.4:16), etc. The more we do this, the better we get to know Him, and the less we do this we should realise how little we know Him.

But the real measure of our love for God is in how much we value Him in comparison to our own desires. Jesus said, "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me" (Jn.14:21). How we choose to keep His commandments when our own desires point in some other direction is a true indication of our love for God. Job was tested to see if his so-called love for God was because of all the benefits he had received from God or if he would value God even if all was taken away from him (Job.1:9-11). Abraham was tested in a similar way when he was asked to sacrifice his only son (Ge.22:12).

Of course, there is forgiveness from God if we fail; but we are not to presume on that forgiveness and take it as an excuse for indulging our desires. In fact, every failure we go through should drive us to love God in a more real way in future. A genuine love for God will compel us to constantly seek to deny ourselves in order to do what is pleasing to Him (2Co.5:14,15).

Satan tries to lull our conscience to sleep by reminding us about how fervent we felt when we were worshipping God, and to make us believe that everything is fine between us and God, when actually we may be giving in to our desires thinking that it is only a minor failure! Eve lost her relationship with God by giving in to her desires, and now after accepting us by His grace God is trying to make us people who will constantly choose Him even in the midst of strong desires.

This inner battle is a mark of true children of God as we go towards maturity.


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