Loving God as our first love means we will have a daily awareness of our need for God.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
We love many things don't we? I think of my favorite foods, books, people, movies, scents, clothes, tastes in artwork, music, and places to be. These are the things that make life enjoyable and worth the journey. Loving God, is a combination of all of these goods in life and that thing called more which I have mentioned several times in my writings. God made us to want more. The more is more of Him.
The interesting part of this reality is that when we receive more of God in awareness of Him, we crave more and more and more. In this, God satisfies a deep need within us for truth and purpose. Notice, the verse doesn't say Know more about God with all your heart, mind, and soul. It's "Love the Lord ..." Love will initiate knowing. This is a byproduct of the loving. All parts fully engaged in the loving of God ... with the mind, the soul, the heart, and the strength.
We drift from God-loving as our focal point when the focus is or becomes person-centered as more important than the maintaining and developing of a personal relationship with God.
Some have yet to fall in love with God. Loving God comes when you trust Him with your needs, wants, and desires, looking to Him to be your all-in-all. Trust, true trust, means letting go of the picture you have in your mind for yourself in order to become the picture God has in His mind for your life.
Loving God as your first love has many characteristics. The following list is not exhaustive.
- Love that delights in the Lord is secondary to the love of someone else
- Love that is real longs for fellowship with God
- Love for God and thoughts of Him enter your thinking during times of leisure
- Love like this does not make excuses for wrong behaviors that are not of God
- Love that is God-centered means that giving will be cheerfully and freely given
- Loving from the heart is to love others as Christ loved
- Loving from the heart is to forgive others as Christ forgave them
- Loving from the heart is to view God's commands as expressions of His love
- Loving God will mean to seek God's approval rather than human acknowledgment
- Love like this will be shared with others rather than hidden from view
- Loving God means being sensitive and willing to give up that which offends
Seek God with your whole heart. Be intentional. Tell Him that you want to know Him. That's what I did. He understands and will reveal Himself in His way. Find God as your first love above all else. Pray, fast, give, meditate, memorize scripture ... practice spiritual disciplines as a way to increase your love for God. Study of the Bible's words will increase your understanding. The Gospels, Romans, the books of John are all great places to start. Psalms offers the comfort during the hard stressful times. Philippians gives peace and joy and practical thoughts for living the spirit-filled spiritual life. These are places to begin walking in deeper relationship with God.
Note: Concepts in this blog gleaned from a sermon given by Pastor Larry Peterson