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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Worship: love the Lord your God

Honestly I was really embarrassed. I don’t know that it was obvious on the outside, but on the inside I was flinching. What was she thinking? I know she kind of knows me and we talk and she reads this blog more than the average American, but how could she think that? Yet she seemed confident as she made the statement. In her eyes, I was someone who lived my life with my first purpose being to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

I didn’t really know what to say. From my point of view, I rarely thought about loving God. I thought about what it meant to love my neighbor as myself a lot. This concept I have found greatly challenging, but love God? How can I love God? I can’t even see Him. Or touch Him or hear Him. How can I love Him?

Besides even if I could do those things, He is all-powerful, all-knowing, complete infinity, perfectly loving, most righteously just, intensely merciful, without fault and perfect in all His ways. How can I love a Thing like that when I am such a little peon? In case you haven’t read this blog, I am not always merciful, definitely don’t have much power, I don’t know much, I am extremely finite, my idea of love historically is pretty awful and twisted, I am unjust and selfish, I am not without fault, and my ways are not perfect.

How can I effectively love Someone who is that amazing and infinite while I am so small?

The conversation with my friend happened 6-8 weeks ago. It has kind of haunted me. What was I telling people who were reading this? How could people who talked to me think these things about me? Was I being a hypocrite? Was I portraying something that wasn’t even remotely true? Was I lying? and what would my life look like if I did love Almighty God?

Throughout this time, I looked a little more closely at my life. What was I living my life for? If someone making the statement to me, “Your first priority is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” gave me the knee-jerk reaction of “No, uh-uh, I don’t even think about that!”, what was I actually living my life for?

I realized that I bumble around a lot. I do a lot of things that I think God is asking me to do. That is how I fill my time. I spend a fair amount of time in His Word. It helps me stay sober. God knows I want to do that! He also wants me to do it.

I realized I think about loving my neighbor as myself quite a bit. I find this very challenging. Especially because I tend to think God may have meant that starving orphans on the other side of the world are my next-door neighbor. I don’t really think that starving orphans in North America were the Apostle Peter’s neighbor 1,985 years ago when Jesus made this statement to him, but times have changed. Now I know about the starving orphan on the other side of the world, and it is quite easy logistically for me to help them in some way. Does that mean if I buy myself steak, I should buy them steak too? Good thing I haven’t bought steak in something like five years! Usually I find Westerners tend to engage helping orphans from the mentality of, “Let me give you rice and beans but first let me buy a lot of organic food for myself and my family to make sure I stay as ridiculously healthy as possible! Then I will give you the leftovers.”

Something squirms in me about that. I am just not sure that is what Jesus meant.

So I have thought about the orphans on the other side of the world. I have considered that they might be my neighbor. I pretty much never love them as I love myself, but I at least have considered that Jesus might have meant that I should.

But love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? Do I have the time, energy and ability to do that? What does that even mean? I try my best to obey Him, but I don’t try to love Him. It is not even a focus of my life. This I found very troubling. As I was being troubled by it, I made the decision that maybe I should figure out a way to be less busy in the future, so that I could create some time and space to figure out what this would even look like.

Last Thursday or Friday, I was pondering the article about the pure in heart seeing God. I was also thinking about the Great Commandment discussed in this article. Both were troubling me. Both were separate thoughts. Suddenly Jesus’ words came to me, “If you love me, you will obey me.”

A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was tangible. Even if I never thought about it much, at least a little part of me was loving Him. He was loved by all that following I have been bumbling around doing for the last five and a half years. I was so relieved that all I needed to do was listen to Him and do what He says.

In retrospect, I found it a little humorous that it took so long for this to dawn on me. I knew the answer the whole time theologically. It just wasn’t really making a connection in my brain to my life.

If I love Him, I will obey Him. This thought has made obedience easier these last few days as I have encouraged myself by thinking that this is how I effectively love God, who is infinitely perfect and has given me everything I have including my very existence.

How do you love God? Do you ever feel like you are presenting an image of yourself to the world that is simply not accurate? What if you took off your mask?

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