This is perhaps, the most important topic to be discussed in the whole world. Loving God above all things is not a recommendation; it is indeed the first commandment. Loving God requires more than just words, more than just going to church, more than just be involved in ministry or carry a clergyman title. Because our flesh comes against God (Galatians 5:17) and also comes against our soul (First Peter 2:11) loving God above all things is virtually impossible on our own strength. Romans 5:5 tells us, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (NKJV) It is indeed the Holy Ghost that places that kind of love in our hearts. We need the Holy Ghost in order to be able to love…period!
As fancy and theologically complicated as all these things may sound, loving God above all things has a face, it is tangible and it is practical. These are a few characteristics to take into consideration when assessing our love for God.
- Placing God first in our lives means that we make time for intimacy with God: This time is not taken as a chore, but as a time we desperately look forward to. This is the pursuing of the first commandment. Mark 12:30 tells us, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” (NKJV) This first commandment involves passion; it involves our will and a mind that is constantly thinking on the Lord. The closest thing to this radical passion is our romantic love. Another verse that illustrates this passion is Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.” (NKJV) This is a deer that is running for her life. That kind of thirst is the thirst we should have for God.
- Placing God above all things in our lives means that you are hungry and thirsty for His righteousness: This is a heart that loves God so much that he/she wants to do things God’s way and not our own. Matthew 5:6 tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” (NKJV) This is not a holier than thou kind of personality, this is simply somebody that loves God so much that he/she desires to do the right thing before God out of reverence and love for HIM. A person who loves God above all things understands that he/she is called to “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” Matthew 6:33 (KJV). It is no longer about doing things our way, but about surrendering all to God. It is a place of total trust in God.
- Placing God above all things is a constant diligence to get to know God through Scripture: The Bible is the foundation to the believes of a man and a woman of God. It is not the world, it is not ideologies, whatever the culture approves or not and, it is not philosophies of men. A person who loves God is not satisfy with what others have to say about the Bible, they are diligent in studying the Scripture and showing themselves approved according to 2 Timothy 2:15. People who love God look forward to opening the Scriptures and reading God’s love letter for us. This is not a person that is into denominations, but into the truth. The truth does not offend them, for love delights in truth (First Corinthians 13:6), they actually look forward to hear it. A person who loves God above all things actually understands the power found in truth. Our freedom depends, not in the freedom of our nation, but in knowing the truth that can make us free, according to John 8:32.
- Placing God first above all things means that you embrace your divine vision and purpose for life: Habakkuk 2:2 encourages us to write the vision down. That vision gives us direction for our lives. We walk as people that are going somewhere, not just walking around going any kind of place, stuck and unmovable without purpose. You can easily distinguish a person with vision and a person without vision, in how they spend their time. People that love God are not easily distracted and placed in demonic agendas of wasting time, laziness and diverse forms of evil. Because they are going somewhere, they are constantly making efforts to move in that direction. If they are called to go north, you can’t convince them to go south. Even as we can’t fully understand our purpose; a person that loves God has a clear sense of purpose according to Jeremiah 29:11. That sense of purpose is what wakes them up excited in the mornings and ready to roll. This is a person with a great self-esteem, because they find self-esteem not in the opinions of men, but in their heavenly Father.
- Placing God first means that listening to His voice is our priority and our source of life: We look forward to listening to Him because we know that our spiritual lives depend on that kind of connection. Matthew 4:4 tells us, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (NKJV) A man or a woman of God is always listening to God; a man or a woman of God should always have a Word from the Lord, in or out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), it does not matter, because they are always listening. A person that loves God prays differently; the emphasis is not on their words to God, but in listening carefully and, obviously, in applying God’s instructions. We serve a God that speaks and He has placed listening to HIM as a high priority; our spiritual lives depend on it.
I hope that as you read these characteristics you be able to sense a personality. Perhaps that is the peculiar personality the Bible tells us about in First Peter 2:9,
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (NKJV)
Are you peculiar or are you conformed to the ways of this world (Romans 12:2)? In the answer to this question we can really see, how you look like!