This is a good question I think everyone eventually asks. What does it mean to be “in love” with God? Is it the same as loving a friend, family, or spouse? Is it following God’s rules? Is it a relationship with Him? As Haddaway once asked “What is love?” (that is an old song reference and not at all biblical). I asked the staff this question and got some good responses.
A lot of people are misled into thinking that love is a feeling. You don’t FEEL true love… If love is something you’re not acting out, you’re missing the point.
1 John 4:10 says that real love is God’s love for us because he SENT Jesus to die for us… notice there is an action there: God SENT Jesus DIED.
Think about it. Any relationship you have. At first, you’re all attracted to each other and what-not… You FEEL love because of the FEELING you get when you’re together… so you go on, maybe get married, have a few ninos or ninas… but what happens when you’ve lost that lovin’ FEELIN’? “Well, we must not be in love anymore… PEACE OUT!”
That’s crazy! That’s not BEING IN LOVE! That’s FEELING. No dedication comes from feeling.
But the same thing happens in your relationship with God. You could FEEL God doing cool stuff in your life. Isn’t that funny? You FEEL, but God DOES. Kinda out of balance, yeah? So what happens when you don’t FEEL God there anymore? “Well, God must not be real… oh, well. On to the next thing…” That’s the total opposite way we should be thinking. God does so much for us to show us REAL LOVE, being IN LOVE with God means that we should work to show that love right back.
Remember, when FEELING God in your life takes priority over your actual LOVE for God, you’re IN LUST with Him.
If you honestly know the truth about who God is and what He has done for us, for sending Jesus to die in our place, that should be enough for you to fall IN LOVE Him and show it with your actions for the rest of your life.
Yes, Love is hard. Yes, Love is a grind. Yes, Love is work. Yes, Love is sacrifice. Yes, Love takes time and effort.
Don’t find yourself lusting after God. That will only make you want a divorce.
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” –G.K. Chesterton
To be in love with God is the high calling of the Christian. There is nothing we will do for God that can compare to the joy He takes when the ones he loves with all his being return that love to him passionately.
It ought to be passionately. Love grown cold is an awful thing. It’s still there. You can see it between two people, like stale spider webs barely holding them together. You can see it in the ritual. They know their roles and play them, but the fire is gone. Lovers ought to be on fire.
I think God wants lovers. He wants us to worship him and tell him how beautiful he is. He wants us to spend long hours with him in secret, to lie in his presence and enjoy him for who he is. Spending time with the love of your life is not a chore. It’s the thing you look forward to after you’re done with work or school. It’s the thing that consumes your thoughts as you lie in bed at night, all your thoughts finding their way to the one you love. Because you’re in love, and people in love can’t stop thinking about the one they love.
We shouldn’t be able to stop thinking about God. We should find secret places and moments to hide away with him.
Prayer is not a chore. It comes as naturally and desperately as breathing. We do it without ceasing because we can’t stop thinking about the one we love.
Love gets in the way of stuff. It strains against the forces that try to hold it in. Being in love with God… we ought to chafe under anything that would keep us from him. We want to be with him all the time. There’s something inside us that cries for him always.
Rich Mullins sang it,
“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God.”
This thing, this wild untamable fire that we call God’s love is a fury. He is furiously in love with us.
“For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29)
“… for God is love.” (I John 4:8)
Those verses say the same thing.
This is what God is. A consuming fire of love. To be in love with him is to be willing to be devoured by him.
I love the word passion. It means to suffer. What we call “the passion of the Christ” is what he did out of reckless, unstoppable love for us.
We can enter into that love, if we want to.
We can fall in desperate love with God, but it won’t always make us starry-eyed saints. We will suffer. We will suffer because God suffers. The things that make him weep will make us weep. And that’s okay. That’s part of love too.
Being in love with God is what worship is about.
If you read the book of Revelation, there’s this scene that I didn’t used to understand. There are these creatures around the throne of God “and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’”
I thought, it must be kind of sad to be a being that has to praise God all the time and can’t go do anything else. Then I started to fall in love with God.
The Bible doesn’t say those creatures can’t go do anything else. They just don’t. God is a being so precious, so wonderful that there are creatures that praise him without ever stopping because they want to. I’s a glimpse of what it means to be in love with God. Who would want to be anywhere else?
Being in love with God means giving him what he deserves, which is nothing less that furious love.
There’s this terrifying verse in the Bible about the times to come. Jesus said, “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12)
That word “love” is agape. Spiritual love. Grown cold.
We can feel it when our relationship with God turns into ritual. Things we “have to do.” We run around doing things like Martha that time Jesus came to visit, when we ought to be sitting at his feet like Mary because we are entranced by him.
Jesus should hold our attention.
I think being in love with God means that he holds our attention. I think it means we suffer for him. That’s passion. We agonize. Paul said he “travailed” in prayer until Christ be formed in the ones he was praying for (Gal. 4:19). The childbirth metaphor is perfect. This is the end of passion, the climax of the love affair. Something is being born.
God loves us with relentless passion. And we sort of catch fire on that love and return it to him as best we can. And hopefully that love never fades into just going through the motions, but sometimes it does. You can always tell by looking at what fills your thoughts, what takes all the time in between the things you have to do, the hours true lovers seize for themselves.
God deserves lovers. He deserves people who love him for who he is and want to spend all their time with him the way lovers do, lost in their own private universe.
This is what I want:
“Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24)
Someone found his way into God’s secret place. I love those words, “God took him.” Wow. I want to be taken by God. Incidentally, lovers know what the word “rapture” really means. To be caught up in the one you love.
We ought to be caught up in God.
We who love him, should do it with all we are.
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