Is It Enough To Just Love God?
Love is an intense feeling of deep affection for someone or something.
On the basis of this definition, love is a component of emotions and feelings.
When we love someone, we have an intense feeling of likeness and admiration for them. We tend to worship them.
Loving God is the basis for serving him. Without love for Him, we will find it difficult to live to please Him.
There are scriptural verses that strongly admonishes us to love God wholeheartedly as a manifestation of our Christian faith.
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5 (KJV)
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30 (KJV)
So what is the most important component of our Christian profession?
According to Wikipedia, Obedience, in human behavior, is a form of “social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure.” It is doing, or willing to do, what you have been told to do by someone in authority. Our ‘authority figure’ here, is God.
Now the question is, “can we love someone and not obey their instructions?”
A very good example is a young boy who claims to love his mum, but refuses to listen to her warnings to not be friends with a group of bad boys who are involved in fraudulent activities, because of the personal monetary gains he gets, and even probably gives part of it to his mum for her upkeep.
I know you’ll say “then he doesn’t truly love his mum!”
But then, he actually gives part of his gains to his mum.
The truth is, many of us are like the young boy. We claim to love God, and we try to prove it by paying tithes, giving to the poor, contributing for church work (whether in labour or in finance), attending church meetings, etc, thinking these will make God happy with us and continue to bless us.
Now, I’m not saying all these are wrong, but the state of heart with which we do them matters more.
It’s not like God’s blessings depends on our works though, but our state of heart and willingness to obey him plays a part in his blessing us.
If you remember, our definition of love shows that it is more of an emotion or feeling, and that’s what many of us truly have. When things are going well especially, we tend to ‘love’ God more and worship him. But when things begin to head south, we start questioning the faithfulness and even sometimes, the existence of God.
The truth is, we guard and give more attention to what we value the most.
This is where the issue of obedience comes in. Naturally, we don’t like to do things that will not be of benefit to us, or that will sometimes, make us look foolish. We tend to protect our image and personality, and this is the natural ego that everyone of us have.
We have been given instructions from God to follow, but not many of us truly adhere to those instructions, as they seem not to have any benefit to our selfness, or stretch us to do what is seemingly beyond our natural abilities. This is the ‘discomfort’ many of us don’t like in Christianity.
But then, if we truly love someone, we should be ready to make a lot of commitments, compromises and sacrifices right? Even when it’s inconvenient?
That’s when true love can really be proved.
In the Christian journey, there are lots of sacrifices to make, to prove our love and faithfulness to God. He has proved His by giving us the life of His only son Jesus, as a ransom for our souls.
The sacrifices to make are mainly those involving our ego, self pleasure and self comfort. It’s not like these things are bad though, but there is a limit to which we can crave for them, if we truly want to love and serve God. We should not so desire them to the detriment of our souls, because “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 (KJV).
There is also the issue of compatibility when it comes to relationships. God is already perfect and holy, we are the ones who will develop ourselves spiritually, by His help, to become like him. Amos 3:3 says “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” If our lives are not in agreement with God’s word, it will be difficult to live the real Christian Life.
Read: You have a choice
Remember the young boy in our illustration? He refuses his mother’s warnings because of monetary gains he gets, knowing well that it is dubious and will eventually lead to unfortunate events like an arrest or something else.
What of us? Don’t we refuse God’s warnings because we want to satisfy ourselves first? Matthew 6:24 says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’
We cannot serve God and our flesh at the same time, else one is at risk of being ignored and it’s most likely God.
Romans 8:5 says, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
The truth is, if we truly want to live for God, we must do so on His own terms and not ours.
Now, what kind of love does God expect from us? We will consider that in a later post.