How Do I Love Jesus With My EVERYTHING?

Anonymous asked:

How did you learn to love Jesus after you got saved? It’s something that is bothering me because I want to love Him with every part of my being.

My friend: You know why I think so many Christians are tired?

Because they’re being told things like this.  Love Jesus with every part of your being.

I understand what this means and it has pretty good intentions, but it’s really dang hard to love something with our entire being all the time.  I don’t even know how to measure this sort of standard, and if suddenly I fall short of fiery 100% passion, that means I’ve failed the whole Christian thing.  So why even try?  It’s an arbitrary impossible parameter that is NOT biblical.

Let’s consider a husband and wife.  When they’re first dating and first married, it’s all rainbows and butterflies and ninja glitter puppies.  But feelings come and go.  The electric shock of holding hands gives way to a comfortable ocean-deep familiarity, which is not the formerly swimmy-stomach puppy love, but a new maturity like carving a poem into stone.  This is a beautiful thing, and even though the original sparks can still happen sometimes, it’s based in a more real foundation. Except most people don’t know it happens this way, so they get disillusioned and distant and divorced.

It’s really cool you want to be passionately in love with Jesus as much as you can, but please don’t beat yourself up about this.  Be prepared for the seasons when you’ll barely hang on to God with an intellectual thread, and other seasons where you’ll be so head-over-heels for Jesus that you’re getting tattoos of him on your ribcage.  Be ready to be honest in your dry valleys, and be ready to rejoice on the mountaintop.

Enjoy both seasons, because both help you grow and both have significance in our lives.  The winter and fall teach you to grow deep roots into God even when you don’t feel Him, and the summer and spring are those powerful weeks of blooming fruits and plentiful harvest that will have you laughing and weeping at the same time.  Soon you’ll also see: loving Jesus is not even really up to you, because he’s the one who woos, who draws, who beckons, who calls.  Loving Him is the easy part; God loving you cost His Son.  The more you know that it’s less about you, the more free you will be to love God all the more.

Please also know I’m NOT saying it’s okay to be lukewarm.  Our Christian lives are often about fighting for truth and clinging onto Christ in a broken world no matter how we feel.  Not perfectly, but increasingly and with greater passion than all else.  Yet we can’t whip ourselves into this sort of faith.  Our motives and methods are meant to be built on the endless merciful grace of God.  Anything less than His love leads to self-righteousness and fear — but grace set deeply in the human heart can thrive in the hardest of times.  It is a balanced faith that can fight and rest at the same time.

So some simple things you can do today: Worship Him with music.  Read some Scripture, like John or Philippians.  Step outside and observe nature.  Help a friend or a stranger.  Encourage someone.  Read from a good book, Christian or not.  Be generous today, enough to sacrifice.  Serve somewhere this week, not to earn God, but because God has already begun His work in you.  And all these pieces together will bring you to Him: but you will quickly find He has already met you where you are.

I’ll end here by shamelessly quoting myself:

I hear a lot of people saying, “I don’t feel God anymore.” And there’s a lot of guilt there, like they’re not trying hard enough.

But “not-feeling-God” doesn’t make you a bad Christian: just an honest one. And maybe our baseline for “feeling-Him” got messed up with a false foundation.

Maybe when Life Got Hard, no one taught you a clear theology on pain. Maybe no one mentioned that seasons of doubt, suffering, and detachment are regular valleys in a believer’s life.

Those are also the EXACT times we go to God and tell Him everything. To even say, “I don’t feel you right now, God.” You can tell Him that.

Most of us think we’ve failed God when we don’t feel Him, when it’s actually that feeling of His absence that can either push you to Him or from Him. He’d much rather it be to Him.

— J.S.

10 thoughts on “How Do I Love Jesus With My EVERYTHING?

  1. Good morning my friend!! I agree with you on all points EXCEPT that “it’s not biblical”. It very much is specifically and directly biblical – OT Deuteronomy and NT Gospels – and He wouldna said it if he didn’t mean it. But loving God (just like loving your spouse or kids or wretched friends) with everything you have isn’t wholly about emotion just like you said and I think that’s what pigeonholes us. It is exactly how you described – the ups, the downs, the times you throw your bible across the room and the times you wanna run naked through the towns shouting the Good News (not suggested!)..and the times you go through those ebbs and flows all on the same day. It’s with everything…every emotion, every rationality, logic and thought, and every move we make.


    1. I think what J.S. was trying to say was, that it is not biblical to force yourself to love God. By all means love Him, but just don’t feel as if you have failed Him every time you find yourself doing something else that day. The more you try, the more you see that you actually can’t love Him wholeheartedly. We are all weak and fleshy, always finding something else to play with, like spending too much time on the internet or watching tv when you could of just read a couple chapters from the bible or went outside to look at nature. Either way, you can’t look at that verse in the bible and kill yourself over why you keep ignoring God on Monday but always ready to talk to Him on Sunday. All we can do is ask God to help us love Him more. It is by Him that we even love in the first place.


      1. Thank you Josh, you helped express this better than I did.
        I remember someone asked me once if God demands worship from people, and ultimately I had to say no. I looked for instances where God forced people to bend at the knee and love Him — but I really couldn’t find any. God’s very nature caused people to be awestruck by beauty and they willingly loved Him in response. Even then, some refused His grace (case in point: Jesus’s ministry). God did make us with free will, and that includes all the messiness of making choices by degrees over a lifetime of wild variables.


    2. Hey FFJ, I’m sorry for the lack of clarity. You’re right that it’s biblical to love God with our everything — and it’s why Jesus came to give his life for all the ways that we’ve failed at this. I should’ve been clearer in my distinction between God’s law and our reality.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts too, indeed we’re not alone in running-naked-cross-town-shouting like King David.


  2. Great post. While we are asked biblically to be living sacrifices to Him and to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength, God also wants us to be absolutely authentic and honest with Him. He knows that we are human and, therefore, are never perfect. It doesn’t mean we don’t strive for perfection, but we acknowledge our imperfections to Him. In those imperfections are His strengths. In those imperfections are when and where He does His greatest work. David was never perfect, a sinner, yet honest with the Lord in his feelings, yearnings and repentance. God used him well and called him a man after His own heart.

    The fact that Anonymous even asked the question means that this brother or sister is walking with Him.


  3. I agree with Susan.

    I have been a Christian for 34 years, and have been married for 30. In both relationships – with Jesus and my husband, I have experienced both ups and downs….many times when I just didn’t ‘feel’ the love that I experienced in the beginning. I believe that’s when we learn the importance of keeping our faith and commitment that we made in the beginning – to love and honor. You will be blessed. Trust me.


  4. This post is a green pasture indeed!!! We are so focused in our holiness that we forget our humanity, and it is exactly when we feel so bad and far from God that we must tie ourselves on Him! I’m glad for reading it! God Bless You!


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