I got some good responses to my previous post about being honest and something one person shared with me got me thinking. They realized at times they thought more of themselves then they thought of God, which, to a Christian, seems obviously not right. She finds herself trying to force herself to think about God but that doesn’t really last for more than a few moments. Someone else I know said once that he’s pretty sure he loves his wife a lot more than he loves Jesus. The evidence is how much he thinks of her, spends time with her and tells her “I love you” compared to how much he does this with Jesus.
Speaking of being honest…how many of us are uncomfortable admitting to anyone that at times we aren’t sure we love God very much. Of course we must define “love”. Are we talking about how we feel? Or something else?
Let’s think about marriage – our basic model of a loving relationship. A spouse will demonstrate their love by their expressions of adoration, their acts of service and sacrifice, by fulfilling promises, showing you value them through listening and paying attention to them, etc.
So how do we know how much we love God? Jesus said that if you love me you will obey my commands. How are you at obeying Jesus commands? And I’m not necessarily talking about the big 10 God gave Moses. I’m talking the hard ones like “Love God with ALL your heart ALL your soul, ALL your mind, ALL your strength”. Or “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
But that’s not what I’m writing about today. Here’s the big question:
If we DON’T feel love for God, how do we grow our desire for God?
You can’t force yourself to like something. So what do you do?
I’m going to do something different than usual here. I’m not going to answer this or give any of my own ideas. If you have any ideas, post them in the comments. If you have wondered this and have been afraid to admit it, I challenge you to share that in the comments. You can put a fake name 🙂
How can you get yourself to desire God more?
Ben … you are certainly asking the right questions. The challenge, it seems to me, is in growing in several areas of our lives:
1) It really helps to grow past the legalistic, black/white ideas of trying to judge or put a scale on one’s love for God on the basis or anything temporal, or purely human (flesh). Our relationship to God is not based on LAW … it is based on GRACE. We love – because God FIRST (and always) loved us! Moving past the “right and wrong” attitude – toward a more tolerant and openly accepting attitude of one’s spiritual journey is always quite helpful.
2) In my own person journey … with God … myself, and others, I have come to find that when I “beat myself up” for not “measuring up to what I SHOULD be,” I was not basking in the Grace and Love of God at all. To try to determine if I love my wife more than God is a question that puts the questioner’s mind in the wrong ball park. It would be like saying – there are 24 hours in the day … how many minutes did you think about God, about others, about yourself? BLAH – BLAH – BLAH … that kind of question will lead you to a dead end street of “shoulding all over yourself!” Better to realize that the Master – Jesus – taught us that we can determine how much we love him by how much we love each other (Love one another as I have loved you.)
3) Way too much emphasis is put on “time.” To try to judge our loves for God … you can’t look back at what you’ve been … OR ahead at what you’ll be. One has to live NOW — IN THE MOMENT … THAT is where God is!!!… and ONLY there! That is true, simply because God is Spirit and in the Spirit there is no chronos time … only non-time/all time in which the I AM is.
So… HOW CAN YOU GET YOURSELF TO DESIRE GOD MORE? Realize how you were created – with an inner soul (spirit) that YEARNS for being in the presence of the Almighty. Start IN YOURSELF … not outside of yourself. And then – accept yourself AS YOU ARE (just like God accepts you!). Let yourself love yourself – as God shows you how … and then love others, as the opportunities are revealed … and at the end of the day … you will know that God was with you EVERY MOMENT … and you will know that, recognized or not – you were with God, too!! 🙂
Peace and Grace – my friends!!
To continue with your marriage analogy….sometimes I do not like my husband. He annoys me, and sometimes I want him to be away from me for a bit. I am pretty sure that it is safe to say that he feels the same about me at times! BUT, we love each other. We made a commitment to each other, and to our marriage. Sometimes you just have to hunker down and ride the tough times out, but all the while knowing the love is still there.
Same goes for my love for Jesus. Sometimes He makes me mad. Sometimes I feel as though my prayers don’t even reach the roof of my house, sometimes I feel like He has forgotten His promises. BUT, deep down I know He loves me. I know the commitment I made to Him, and His promise to be ever faithful. Like the relationship with my husband, sometimes you just have to ride out the rough parts, all the while keeping Truth in mind.