If we have ever been in love, or at least keenly interested in someone, we know the intensity of love in its newness. Our lives begin to revolve around that person, getting to know them, spending time with them, and planning on spending time with them. Our younger friends laugh and tell us that we are “gaga” and the older ones smile at us, as if remembering their own lives, and say “Ahh, young love!”
Our culture loves young love–from movies to books, and from TV shows to national holidays we love to watch people love. Even more so, we love to be in love like that ourselves. For any of us who have experienced it we also know that the original intensity eventually fades, and a new more mature love will replace it. For those who do not give up past the initial intensity, we find that love becomes expressed in even greater ways such as deepening friendship, understanding, respect, companionship, and shared experience.
Now if that is how it goes in human relationships, what about the most important relationship–our relationship with our God? What about this relationship for which we were made? Have we felt that kind of intensity of love for our God? Have we ever been filled with a passion so strong that all we can do is think about Him? Do we go out of our way to spend time with Him? Do we plan our days with Him in mind? Do we sneak away moments to talk with Him? Do we find that as we walk with Him His friendship becomes the most important relationship in our lives? Do we seek to know Him in greater and greater ways? Does our respect for our God deepen as we walk with Him? Do we thank Him for His faithfulness through the rough parts, as we see Him steadfastly walk beside us even when we fail Him?
If we ask ourselves these tough questions, all of us will come up lacking. The Psalmist clears up the problem for us in chapter 14:2, “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” We are by nature incapable of loving God, at least by any definition other than our own, sin-skewed one.
We may say we love God, but then we choose other things over Him time and time again. We may say we love God, but we never look for Him; we never seek Him. We say we love God, but we make assumptions about Him without ever even attempting to clarify it with Him. We may say we love God, but then we ignore His Word and belittle His love in Christ’s sacrifice. We say we love God, but we crown ourselves and walk our own way. If this was a human relationship, we would not call this love. How then, can we say we love God?
Before our shame threatens to overthrow us, we must realize that we do not need to stay here. Like a cold marriage or a disinterested relationship, things can change; things must change.
The most exciting parables to me are the ones found in Matthew 13:44-46, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” These men are passionate. These men know what they want, they know the worth of what they seek, and they are willing to sell all they have in order to obtain it!
What is our Saviour worth? Is He not worth infinitely more than any treasure of man? The Lord says in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Matt. 22:37) There is a promise to set our sights on.
The law and the commandments are summed up first and foremost in this one thing, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” And since, “we love because He first loved us,” (1 John 4:19) we have been given the ability to love Him through His Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
So today, let us set out to fall in love. Let us be willing to “seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually (1 Chron. 16:11) because we know that He tells us, “”I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek Me will find Me.” (Prov. 8:17) We have His promise, and in Amos 5:4 we have His welcome, “Seek Me that you may live.”
Through Him we CAN love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all of our mind. Let us settle for nothing less. Let us seek Him today.