I cannot love who I do not trust.
I cannot trust who I do not know.
I cannot know who I do not seek.
I cannot seek without intentional effort.
There is no effort without cost.
We are called to love God as our highest obligation. It is also our supreme joy. That's the command and the promise. But it's not always our experience. Truth to tell - loving God it is not always joyous, fulfilling or the leaning of our heart. Loving God carries a measure of confusion, struggle, waiting and pain. It can be hard to love God. Anyone who says otherwise is simply sentimental. To love Him well as He deserves: to love Him consistently as He demands: to love Him foremost as the centre of our living - no one does this on their own. But by grace, God doesn't leave us on our own. He teaches us what love is and what love does. He enables willing hearts to be vessels of devotion. What do we discover?
If our love for God is going to be more than a Sunday morning affection, more than a cry from our current crisis and large enough to re-order the way we live - look at the chain again. Love has to be linked with faith, and faith connected to intimacy. Intimacy is not isolated from longing. Longing is proved by persistent intentions. Every intention played out has a price. So the chain which begins with the promise of love, ends with the sharp point of a price. "Am I willing to pay the price it takes to love God well?”
Before you jump to your answer, consider two things. First, this chain is not just a spiritual principle. You live it daily with your spouse, children and friends. Our relationship with God is not excused from the demands of any loving relationship. It comes with the turf. Second, God did not excuse Himself from the same demands. To love us well, He binds Himself in the chains of grace. To trust us with freedom. To know us better than we know ourselves. To seek us in our brokenness. To make the effort of Incarnation. To pay the price of death. His love chain connects with our love chain and we are bound together forever.