As brothers and sisters in Christ, we share the common struggle to learn to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. After ALL Jesus has done and is doing for me, it is shocking and embarrassing to have to pray and ask Him to—help me love Him. But I know the depravity of my flesh and the power of my three enemies, so—I ask God to grow my desire for Him.
It amazes me how God honors this prayer.
God helps me love Him by changing my desires. I desire to be obedient—out of love. Jesus said, the love that we have for Him is manifested by the keeping of His commandments to love HIM and love others the way Jesus loved us. (John 13: 34-35;14:15-17) But yet, when we assess our level of love for God, and the way we continually fall short of the mark—it can be really discouraging.
We are not alone in this struggle!
Some of the greatest Christians in the Bible also had the same experience. Of the struggle between his regenerated soul [born again] and his unregenerated flesh, the apostle Paul wrote:
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
For I do not do the good I [my soul] want, but the evil I [my soul] do not want is what I [my flesh] keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I [my soul] want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
For I [soul] delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members [body] another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.Romans 7:18-25
Our failure to love God as we should, is not because we’re some kind of aberrant sin-freak; rather, it is a characteristic directly attributable to the entire human race—we’re born with the sinful nature of fallen man. So when our inner man is born again, our redeemed soul is in constant conflict with this “body of death” which houses our soul. Our flesh is the enemy within the gate.
Thankfully, God gives us a powerful weapon to fight this constant conflict—His Spirit—which is far greater than the flesh.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4
The more we develop our relationship with God, the stronger our “inner man” becomes which makes us more equipped to win the battle against our flesh and the other two enemies. The more our love relationship with God deepens, the less we are satisfied by the desires of the flesh.
Grow in God’s loving presence; it is your greatest motive for obedience!
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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I certainly needed this reassurance, I struggle each day, I want to love God more. Thank you for this devotional, much needed.
Thank you. Have a great weekend