Love God, Know God
What you love determines what you are and what you become. Obey God now on what you know to be His will.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Are you doing Alright today? Well, I surely trust so. I’ve just been talking to our heavenly father and asking him that somehow this very broadcast might contain something that would be especially right for you. We have no way of knowing… We who broadcast the gospel, we have no way of knowing what the individual need maybe. But God the Holy Spirit knows. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. God knows what He is doing. And so when He speaks through a human throat, He conformed the words and the concepts, and He can convey the eternal truth that is exactly what is needed at any given time by any given person. That is what we call the miracle of the ministry. I never go before these microphones without praying earnestly that God may perform that miracle in my life. “Oh, how I want God to speak to somebody today.”
We’ve been looking at the 91st Psalm. We’re almost through, aren’t we? You have two because of phrases at the close of that Psalm. One of them will be review, and then we’ll go onto the next one. “Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him.” That’s the first one.
The second one is, “I’ll set him on high because he hath known My name.” Two things that God thinks are important. One is for you to love Him, and another is for you to know Him. Now, that seems so simple doesn’t it? We tend to make our faith too complicated, oftentimes, it seems to me. We pile up all sorts of rituals and rigmaroles that we consider to be important, when in reality it’s a very simple matter to love God. But oh, so important and so all-pervasive in human life. Where your treasure is there will your heart be also. What you love determines what you are and what you become. “Because he hath set his love upon Me.” Now, the interesting thing about this is that we talk about falling in love as though it were some kind of an involuntary process. God talk about love in terms of a volitional process. That is to say, “You can will to love God.”
Now, where is the turning point. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” “If a man love Me he will keep,” that means obey, “My word. And I’ll love him, and My father will love him. We will come to him and make our abode with him.” To set your love on God means to determine that you’re going to do what He says to you. Interestingly enough, your heart feeling about God is directly connected to your willingness to obey Him. And a lack of loving feeling toward God is connected to disobedience of what He says.
Go back to the story of the Garden of Eden and our first parents, Adam and Eve. It’s said God would talk with them in the cool of the day. Almighty God, their creator, fellowshipping with his creatures. Then sin entered in. And instead of a loving fellowship with God, what happened? We find Adam and his wife Eve hiding from God amidst the foliage of the garden. And God is calling, “Adam, where art thou?” Not that He didn’t know. When God calls you, it’s not because He doesn’t know where you are; He wants you to know where you are. And so the answer came back, “I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Shame, and fear, and distrust have entered into the human race. How? By disobedience. Where is that loving fellowship? Gone. What did it? Disobedience. What will restore fellowship with the Lord? Obedience. It’s that simple.
You have an illustration of this truth over in Revelation 3. I think of it this minute. Over in Revelation 3, where our Lord says to the Church of Laodicea, “I have somewhat against thee because thou hast lost or left thy first love.” Thou hast left thy first love. Oh. What happens? Somehow or other, somehow or other… It’s not Laodicea, it’s Ephesus, isn’t it? Yeah. Chapter 2. Somehow or other, the love that these people had for the Savior had cooled off. Now, what is the answer to it? To try to pump up some kind of feeling toward God? No. Verse 5, Chapter 2, Revelation, He said, “You left your first love. Remember, therefore, for whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works.”
Do you wanna love God? Do you want to renew your love for God? I think all of us have felt, “Oh, if I could just love God the way I ought to. If I could just really love Him, and really serve Him.” How do you start? Start at the point where the faithful Holy Spirit is reminding you that you need to obey God on something.
I have never, I assure you, I have never failed to have a rekindling of love in my heart for God when I decided to obey Him in some matter with which He was dealing with me. Repent, and do the first works. “If a man love Me, he will obey My word. If you love Me, obey my commandments. These people worshipeth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” All of this ought to convince us that this matter of setting our love on God is a matter simply of deciding to obey what you know to be the will of God. Now, of course, someone will say, “Well, I’m not sure what God’s will is.” Someone said that to Vance Havner, many years ago. And he said, “Well,” he said, “Give three guesses. You’ll be right the first guess.” [laughter] The fact is, we think of the will of God as being something vaguely out in front, in the future. What is the will of God for me? Will I be a dentist, a doctor, or a DD? That sort of a thing. The will of God turns out to be what you’re going to do at 10:00 of a Tuesday. What do I do, right now? You get the idea?
There are certain things that God is dealing with you about that concern today, that concern your relationship with people around you, that concern what you’re going to do regarding some problem you’re facing. The will of God is present as well as future. And if you want to start loving God, start obeying God on what you know, right now, to be His will. Does that make sense to you? It is a very important matter, let me assure you. We tend to get off into some kind of mysticism. We sing soulfully, “My Jesus, I love Thee. I know Thou art mine.” But that doesn’t do it. You can sing that song clear through, all five verses, and at the same time feel your heart just as cold and dead as can be. The only way to warm up that heart toward God is to start obeying Him. You ought to remember that today. If you want to love God more, obey Him more. “Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore, will I… ”
Now, notice this verb, deliver him. Life is a series of risks and trauma. And you need not encouragement so much as deliverance. Yes, God encourages us, and blesses us, and gives us His peace and joy, and all of that. But when it comes right down to the matter of living successfully, oftentimes, you need, and I need, to be delivered in a situation.
You’re filled with fear. You need to be delivered from the fear, not just advised about it. If you’re afraid, somebody says, “Don’t be afraid,” that doesn’t help, does it? You have to take away the source of the fear. You’re suffused with guilt about a matter. Somebody talking with you isn’t going to make the difference. God has to deliver you from that guilt by cleansing it. You feel so weak and unable to go on in the responsibilities that are yours. And somebody’s saying, “Well, buck up, you’ll be Alright.” That doesn’t help. You need strength. You need to be delivered from the weakness, and from the fear, and from the guilt, and from the various dangers and risks that we all face in daily life. I had a profound sense of gratitude not too long ago, when as I came to an intersection, I looked both ways, brought my vehicle to a complete stop and looked both ways and seeing no one coming, I turned on out, made a left turn out into the thoroughfare. Just at that moment, a car traveling at a great rate of speed swept by me, missed me by about a foot, I guess, and went on. Well, I could very well have been involved in an accident. And all of a sudden, it just swept over me, it just came over me, a profound awareness that God had delivered me. The Angel had just moved me inches away from a traffic accident that may very well have injured me, who knows?
Deliver in traffic, yes. Deliver in a business situation. When you’re at an impasse and nothing seems to be going, how often yours truly has whispered a prayer, said “Oh God, move something here. We’re not getting anywhere.” And all of a sudden there seemed to be a ray of light that came into the understanding of people, and the discussion moved again. Oh, how God will deliver you in a people situation, in a traffic situation, in a medical situation. Some of you people are medical folk, doctors and nurses and specialists. I know that many of you pray concerning situations involving your patients or involving the management of a great hospital or whatever it may be. God is the god of deliverance. It starts when you and I obey.
Dear Father, today, may we obey Thee, so that we can love Thee, so You can deliver us. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the king today and be a blessing!
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