Love God

30 06 2014

“Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.” – Augustine of Hippo

I read this statement by Augustine years ago and it has stuck with me. One short sentence that sums up how one is to walk in faith. “Love God and do whatever you please.” I know. I am pausing so that you can go back and read it again. At first glance, it doesn’t seem quite right. But is it?

The two parts of the sentence don’t seem to go together. The first focuses on God, loving Him, serving Him, and centering our hearts on Him. The second phrase seems to run in the opposite direction. I know myself. If I do only as I please, too often I will choose a path that takes me away from God, rather than towards Him.

Psalm 37:4 puts it this way. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

The key to understanding both Augustine and Psalm 37:4 is to see how they are interconnected. When I love God, what pleases me is what pleases Him. When I delight myself in the Lord, He shapes the desires of my heart and fills me with Himself. The way that we love God, focus on Him, delight in His presence, worship before His throne, and come to know His character must transform our actions, attitudes, thoughts, and direction. Loving God means that we will desire to do what pleases Him.

My Jesus Resolution today is to love God and to let that love transform every part of me. Loving God is the constant in the equation. As I love Him, His love begins to shape and change my heart to reflect His own. My selfish desires give way to His will. My pride is shattered by His glory. My self-reliance is transformed into dependence on His grace. What I love, what I crave, and what I desire become reflections of the One whom I love, crave, and desire.


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