At a recent men’s Bible study, we had split up into small prayer groups when one of the gentlemen in my group said that he had once fallen out of love with God. I told my group I once believed that is what happened, but in actuality we stop loving God.
When someone falls out of love with another, that relationship is usually over. This is how so many divorces happen. However, if a person has stopped loving another, they’ve allowed their love to grow dormant, and that can be rekindled with purposeful effort.
I’ve never met a true Christian who had fallen out of love with God. He or she had just stopped loving God. The reason that happens is we are disobedient to God’s word:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
The third definition for shall found in Random House Dictionary is instructive: “must; is or are obliged to.” When the Bible uses shall it is directive in nature; it is a commandment we must obey. To disobey a commandment is to sin. So when I stop loving God, I am living in sin. I bet you never thought of it that way before, right?
Whenever I stop loving God with all my heart, soul, and strength, I am choosing me over the Lord. I have decided that I am the ruler of my life instead of Jesus. My will takes over my spirit and I endeavor to meet my fleshly desires. This is when I find myself in a bad place:
“Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.” (Psalm 31:23)
I stop loving God because I stop spending time with Him. I quit reading His word. I quit spending time in prayer with the Lord. I no longer meditate on Scripture nor do I seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel for everyday decisions in my life.
My focus changes; it switches from God to me. The devil, or just life alone, is adept at distracting me with me. I get caught up in life, staying up too late entertaining myself after a hard day’s work, and then sleep in.
When I am focused on God, then I’m reading His word, meditating on it, and praying it back to Him. Praise for the Lord is never far from my lips, and my thoughts are constantly on Him and His will. I saturate myself with the Lord.
Why and how is that? Just think of the first time you fell in love. You couldn’t keep your mind off of the person of your affection. When you are in love you go through the day anticipating the next face-to-face meeting or at least a phone conversation.
So it should be with the Lord Jesus Christ. This type of love cannot be conjured up within ourselves; it is a work of God:
“Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
My relationship with Jesus is the most important one I will ever have. If I fail in this, I will fail in others. I cannot love my wife unless Jesus shows me how to love my bride. I cannot love my children and grandchildren until Jesus shows me how God loves us as His children.
I have to have an intentional love towards God through His son Jesus Christ. Reading my Bible and spending time in prayer with the Lord is how I begin that intentional love. I make the effort to get to know God better, trusting the Holy Spirit to be my teacher. He will show me what I need to know about Christ and how I should love Him:
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20-21)
Have you stopped loving God? Then return to your first love. Open your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to love God again. Spend time in prayer seeking your precious Savior and asking Him to touch you once again.
Perhaps you find loving God as a foreign idea or concept? It is understandable if you’ve never trusted Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. Turn to Him today in faith and repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He greatly desires to have a relationship with you that will not only change your life, but change how you relate to others.
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, you can sign up here. You can purchase Dave’s nine devotional books by visiting his Amazon author page.
Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers
Bible, Christian Activism, Christianity, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Guilt, Holy Spirit, Honesty, Hope, Joy, Marriage, Mercy, praise, Prayer, Revival, Sin, Truth, Wisdom, worship