Love God more.
What does that even mean? If you are like me, maybe you can relate to this:
You are sitting in church, and the pastor says that the most important thing is to love God the most. You agree, so you decide right then and there that you are going to do just that. You don’t know exactly what it looks like, but “in your heart” you are just going to will yourself to love God more and that’s that.
Basically, what has happened is that we have reduced love to an intellectual decision. I think I love God more than anything, therefore I do. But is that what it really means to love God? I suppose that it is definitely true that you should think of God above all, but that’s a little dry. The problem is that our English word “Love” really encompasses a lot of things. So I’m going to throw out some new words for you.
Infatuated with. Passionate about. Appreciate. Admire. Fun. Find interesting. How would like to truly be able to describe your relationship with God in terms like these? I know these sound more like terms that remind you of your first girlfriend/boyfriend, but that is EXACTLY what I’m going for.
If you have ever had a significant other, you know that the early days of that relationship are EXCITING! That person is all you can think about. You talk about him/her with you friends. You call them. You look through all of their Facebook pictures. Every day is a new adventure, and, whatever you think it means, you start to fall in love with them.
Unfortunately, most of us have never felt this way about God. But you can. And he wants you to. But you will never feel this way about God by willing yourself to “love him more.”
What you need to do is study. Yes, study. It sounds yucky and reminds you of school, but hear me out. That honeymoon phase with your earthly significant other was exciting because you are constantly learning about them, and they are excited to learn about you too. I’m sure you can think of a time where you had a bad first impression of someone, but came to love them by learning more about them. Or maybe you thought some type of art or music was dumb, but learned to appreciate it later in life. Knowledge leads to love.
Unfortunately many of us believe — or go to a church that believes — they have it all figured out when it comes to God.
But you/they/we don’t.
I’ve got news for you, your theology and understanding of the Bible and the great mysteries of God will never be perfect. Ever.
Maybe the reason you aren’t totally infatuated/in love with/interested in God is because you don’t realize there is so much more to know! Do you think you truly understand the depths of his love? You don’t. Do you think you know all there is to know about his character? Nope. Do you really understand how God is weaving the events of history to the benefit of those who love him? Really. Can you fathom the intricacies of how God holds this universe together just so you can have life?
The fact is, that God is so majestic and wonderful and holy, yet so personal that there is never an end to “getting to know” or dare I say, “dating” him.
Of course there are doctrines that are set in stone, such as Jesus’ s death on the cross. And we can be confident of this because they are straightforward in the Bible, and pass the logical tests for truth. But that doesn’t mean you fully understand it. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to learn, or that some of your doctrines need questioning.
There is a difference between questioning God and his word and questioning your understanding of it. And if you are willing to humble yourself and let God teach you through his Holy Spirit, he will reveal himself to you in BRAND NEW ways and you will, in fact, begin to love God more.