Each part of this series builds upon previous entries. I suggest reading the prior entry to activate the context of this post.
Real love is by choice. God did not makes us puppets on a string. He gave us the ability to choose to love Him – or not. He chooses to love us, and each one of us can say, “yes” or “no” to a relationship with Him. Very few Christians disagree on this point, but we have varying opinions on God’s role in our decision. The point is, God does not want to force us to love him. He wants us to love Him because we want to. That’s the only way there can be a mutual relationship – by choice. (Deuteronomy 30:11-20)
We love God by obeying Him. God says that we demonstrate our love for Him by doing what He says. He adores our worship. He adores our generosity. He adores our trust. He adores the myriad of ways we show love to him – all of which are things He asks us to do. While the stuff we do does not earn love from God, He does delight in our obedience. So, if we love God, we’ll choose to do what He says. If we love ourselves more, we’ll do what we want to do even if it conflicts with what God asks of us. Pretty simple. (1 John 5:3)
They broke us. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, lived an incredibly blessed life. They walked and talked with the Creator. He took care of all their needs and they enjoyed a mutual relationship. They could have enjoyed this forever. But, they decided to embark on a string of compounding choices, that were contrary to what He asked them to do. Their choices demonstrated that they loved themselves more than God. As a result, the relationship between humanity and God was forever broken. (Genesis 3:1-7)
We live in the wake of their choices. He continues to love us, but we struggle with loving ourselves more than God. Within all of us, there is a natural propensity to choose ourselves over God. We are bent towards ourselves – by our very nature – a nature we can do nothing to change. Left to our own devices and ability, we are forever separated from having a relationship with God. But, God was not satisfied with that fate – with us forever broken. We’ll explore His solution in the next post in this series. (Romans 8:20-23)