I woke up with the Holy Spirit nudging me with a question. “What does “to love the Lord” mean? How do you know if you are loving Me?”
I began to think about the question and how I would answer it? Many thoughts began to come to mind but it was not long before the Lord reminded me about the famous passage in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
I have preached on and have heard many sermons on this passage, but I had never considered its application towards God Himself. My thoughts about loving God were always related to how much time I spend (or do not spend) in prayer and reading the Bible and how much I do or do not sin.
Jesus said that God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (Jn 4:23) To worship the Lord would also be to love the Lord. Therefore, to love the Lord is to love Him in spirit and in truth. What is “in spirit and in truth?” In spirit is in the realm of heaven that is within you, or your inner being and in truth is to have His thoughts or His mind. You (spirit, soul, and body) connect with the Lord, who is Spirit, in His kingdom which is within you. Jesus is called the WORD and the only way you connect with Him is through words. You are made in His image and likeness which means you too are the Word. The realm of the spirit, or the realm of the kingdom of heaven is the realm of words. Your whole inner being is thoughts and words and it is through your inner, private thoughts and words where you truly love the Lord.
Jesus also instructed us to love the Lord with all our heart, all our MIND, and with all our strength. This means it will require some work and attention and at times will not be easy. But regardless of your life’s circumstances, you can love the Lord in your thoughts – in the way you think about Him – all the time.
Thoughts that love the Lord have an incredibly large capacity to be patient towards Him. How often have you been impatient while waiting for an answer to prayer? To stay patient in your mind is to remain kind in your thoughts towards Him. In other words, you don’t allow impatient thoughts to arise within your mind that would accuse God of being unfaithful or not answering you when and how you want. To love Him is to keep your thoughts towards Him pure and without blame regardless of your circumstances.
To love and embrace Him is also to have inner thoughts that are kind and happy when you see others receive answers to prayer when you have not yet seen anything yourself. You love the Lord when you bless Him for His goodness towards others and you lift Him up instead of yourself. We lift yourself up when your inner thoughts become demanding or brag about your self-importance. Simply put you begin to argue with the Lord about what you think He should and should not be doing. You love the Lord when your inner conversation with Him is free from argument. You know when you are arguing with Him when your emotions are upset. Your emotions play a huge role in your love towards Him.
You love Him when your thoughts and emotions are filled with joy. Joy is linked to righteousness. Righteous thoughts are free from the consciousness of guilt and condemnation because of sin. To be conscious of your faults or sins does not produce joy. Guilt and condemnation cause negative thoughts and emotions and they do not bring any joy to the One who died to free you from sin. So, to love the Lord is to forsake all thoughts of guilt and condemnation and to fill your mind with thoughts of thankfulness for His great love and forgiveness which He freely gave to you when He died for you.
Be careful, for the devil walks around seeking whom he may devour. He walks around in your mind looking for thoughts of righteousness that he may devour, or destroy, by reminding you of what a “rotten sinner” you are. If you dwell on those kinds of thoughts, you are not embracing the Lord. Your thoughts have turned away from what He has done for you and if you allow those thoughts to go uncontrolled in your head you will find yourself impatient and argumentative with the Lord. This will kill your faith which cannot operate without love – without your thoughts of love and thankfulness towards the Lord.
To love the Lord is also to give His words and thoughts a place of safety within you. He is looking for a home, or a castle, in which He can dwell and be at peace. This would be a home where He is well thought of, is highly esteemed and protected. It is a home of thoughts where He is not taken advantage of or accused of being evil, whether it is to you personally, to a friend or loved one, or to the world in its sin.
To love the Lord is to have your inner sanctuary, your heart and mind, in a place that always believes the best of the Lord; a mind that is filled with the truth that comes from heaven. It is a mind and heart that exalts the eternal love of God above every other thought and imagination that would try to come against the knowledge of the Most High God, your everlasting Father and the One who loves you more than life itself.
In conclusion then, how you love the Lord is rooted in how you talk to Him and how you behave towards Him in your mind and emotions. This is a private world in which you live with Him. In this world I pray that you find yourself becoming more and more rooted and established in loving union with Him as you continue to learn about His great love for you. May your inner world be filled with His joy, His righteousness, and His peace.
God bless you! 😊
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