Maybe we should ask, “Why do we love, at all?”
What is it that can create both a strong attraction, and then an equally strong revulsion, often at the same time, and with the same person?
Before we can answer why we love God, we first need to know why we love.
I guess that’s it for today, then…I have no idea how to explain, define or even make a guess at why we love.
Let’s try this from a different angle: let’s ask , “How should we love the Lord?”
I think I can do this one, especially because God tells us exactly how to love Him: we love the Lord by obeying Him. In Yochanan (John) 14:15 through to 14:26 Yeshua tells His Talmudim (Disciples) that if they love Him they will obey Him. He further says (I paraphrase here) that the love they show Him will be shown to them by God, and they will all be together. Also they will receive the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as a comforter.
Let’s not get confused here, with regards to chronology: God loved us first and foremost. Yeshua said that when we love Him we show our love to God, which makes sense since He also said, throughout the Brit Chadashah (Gospels, or Good News) that when we look at Him we see the Father, and to know Him is to know the Father. Loving Yeshua is loving God, but it was, always has been, and forever shall be that God, who forms us and knows us while we are still in the womb, loves us before we are even born.
God gives us Grace, forgiveness, and the rules telling us how to live and treat each other: these rules aren’t given so God can control us, they are given so we can become more holy and, thereby, be with God for all eternity. His laws and commandments aren’t really restrictions; in fact, they are the path to freedom and joyfulness. God blesses us when we obey (check Deuteronomy 28) and His blessings are never ending. Maybe one of the reasons we love God is because of all the love He shows us. It is hard to dislike someone who constantly does good for you and shows you love and compassion.
However, since He is also the righteous Judge, when He disciplines His children (as all loving parents should do) we often turn against Him, reject and even curse Him.
I know when I was growing up my parents did the best they could for me- they had their own “demons” to overcome from their parents, and as I grew up I was very difficult, rebellious, extremely disrespectful and I did not feel love for them in any way, shape or form. It took quite a while, but when I was old enough and mature enough to understand them and where they were “coming from”, it made forgiving and appreciating them much, much easier. And I felt better about my relationship with them, too, because it had been reconciled. They are both gone now, but for years before they died they knew, and heard me say, I loved them. And for that I also love God, because He was a big part in my spiritual growth and maturity, and He showed me how to love. My love for the Lord is based on who He is and what He has done for me.
Loving God is not (and I think should not) be a romantic love- that’s just weird. As I said, I can’t define absolutely why we love someone or something, but I do believe the love we feel for God should be ‘above’ human love. It should be with respect and awe (doesn’t the one you truly love often inspire you, and sometimes just make you feel so proud to be loved by him or her?) and appreciation for all that He has done. We also need, as I did, to mature, emotionally and spiritually, so that we can begin to glean a little of the reasoning behind why God allows bad things to happen in the world, and bad things to happen to good people. It takes a very high level of spiritual maturity to accept that the gold must be refined through fire. Even though going through the fire is just a little less enjoyable than root canal without the benefit of anesthesia, those who love God with a mature, unselfish and spiritual love understand that the suffering and pain can be overcome by maintaining their loving trust in Him, which comes from the faithful understanding and acceptance that God only wants the best for us. It is that faithful trust and the love we feel for Him that strengthens us and enables us to endure.
Why do you love God? If you haven’t asked yourself that question, you should. Is it only because of what He does for you? Do you feel love, or thankfulness? Do you accept God’s judgements, do you allow Him to make judgements and wait upon the Lord (as Proverbs says we should do?) or do you cry out for justice? Is it justice or revenge?
Or, would you rather be able to forgive as God does? As God commands we should?
Do you love God or do you just love what you want from Him?
The way God will know how much you love Him is to count how often you obey His commandments (He is talking about the ones in the Torah.) If you are obeying more than rejecting, then you are loving God. If you reject more than you obey, well….time to reflect on how much you want to love the Lord.
How many people scream out, “I love you, Jesus! Oh Lord! My God! How I love you!”, then they go home and do whatever they feel like doing, eat what they want to eat, and rationalize their sins.
I used to be a sinner who rationalized my sins; now I am a sinner who regrets my sins. It is that regret, my personal T’Shuvah, that enables me to obey God, and it is my obedience that demonstrates my love for the Lord. And it was His love for me that I (finally) came to recognize and accept, that made me want to love Him back.
Do you love the Lord? If you say, “Yes”, the next question you need to ask yourself is: “Does my obedience to the Lord show it?”