In my posts and videos, books and speaking gigs, I emphasize knowing God, more so than serving Him. That bothers some people, I know. Sorry.
While the two are certainly not contradictory—they go together—serving Him without knowing Him will drive you mad…and empty…and bitter…and broken. It’s the same with knowing God’s love. If you try to “be loving” without knowing His love for you, you’ll eventually go mad…and empty…and bitter…and broken. I’ve seen it. I’ve known it. Haven’t you?
Consider the famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. Before the description of what God’s love is like (verses 4-8), the writer (Paul) emphasizes the same distinction: knowing or “having” God’s love is far more important than serving Him. In fact, doing anything without HAVING the love of God is worthless.
1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not HAVE LOVE, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not HAVE LOVE, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not HAVE LOVE, it profits me nothing. (Caps mine.)
Wow. That’s a lot of personal gifts, talents, knowledge, effort and self-sacrifice down the drain of worthlessness because someone was deluded into thinking that the love of God—the greatest joy and motivator of life—wasn’t worth having. Fortunately, you and I are not so deluded.
If just now you’ve gotten lost in this world’s insistence of measurable productivity and responsible contribution, and love—God’s love—has gotten away from you, I know what that’s like. I do. But much of the story that God is writing through your days is about His love for you and the result of it. He knows that, as you know and have His deeply satisfying love, you’ll do pretty much whatever it takes to remain in it—or come back to it. You won’t even need to worry about obedience and productivity and fruitfulness because you’ll be in love—God’s love for you. That makes everything work right.
Have you got that? That’s what our days are about. And what comes from that is the great work of Love with you.
See you later.