What does it mean to love God? The question may seem too obvious or simple to people who consider themselves to be Christians. Of course we love God; it’s the entire point of being a Christian, right? While that’s true, I’ve observed many who simply pay lip service to the notion of loving God. What does it mean to love God and what does it look like as we live it out in our day to day lives?
To love God means we have no other desire for our lives than to do His will. We no longer have any desire outside of Him. It can sound a bit over the top or impossible to achieve, but if our lives are truly devoted to Him, this is what it means to love God.
If we love God, we will honor His commandments. We will be obedient to Him. Some cringe at the word obedience. It conjures images of a slavery of sorts, and we relish our freedom. Paul often referred to himself as a slave of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1). If the greatest evangelist of all time considered himself to be a slave, should we do anything less? As a slave to Jesus, we will obey all He asks us to do. As we present ourselves as wholly obedient slaves, Christ in turn gives us eternal freedom to live in His presence. He is at once both Master and Suitor, King and Father. In His love, He sets us free; it is our love for Him which causes us to present ourselves back to Him as a slave. Jesus spelled this whole scenario out brilliantly in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24).
When we love God, we will love the things Jesus loved and hate the things He hated. We will love humility instead of pride, poverty over riches, and suffering over comfort. When you love someone, you not only want to please them, you also want to emulate them. You admire and want to be more like them. When you’re in love, you do whatever it takes just have more of the object of your affection.
To love God means we want to be with him. We can’t wait to pray because we get to talk to our Father and Creator. It means we ache when we are away from Him, and earnestly long to return to His presence. If you won’t do whatever it takes to be closer to the one you love, I don’t think that’s love at all.
Do you love God? Do you seek Him above all else? Are you happy to be His slave? To love God requires something from you. It obliges you to seek Him, obey Him, long for Him, and spend time with Him. Otherwise it’s not love. It’s just lip service for the sake of hoping to get something from God without it costing you anything. Every relationship takes work. Without it, love quickly fades and eventually dies. You will either commit to the relationship, or you will forfeit the greatest gift ever known to man. Don’t make that mistake. Love God; really love Him; He is worth it all.