I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love.
And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes. (Psalm 119:47-48)
To love is a commandment.
We don’t like others to tell us what we need to do or not do, and we especially don’t want someone telling us who to love. We might know them and follow them, but love them?
Love is a commitment. It’s a familiarity. When we love God’s commandments, we are committing to His ways. We are committing to Him. We are acknowledging that God’s ways are better, higher than our ways. He knows more than we do, and what He knows is better than what we know.
Love with knowledge isn’t the same as love of knowledge. We can have a love of knowledge and end up very far away from God. We can also have a love of knowledge and become very close with God. Being knowledgeable and faithful are not mutually-exclusive terms. Faith invites knowledge and understanding. Knowledge in and of itself doesn’t drive us toward or away from God. Only our direction drives us toward or away from God.
Loving with knowledge takes what knowledge we seek and gain and sifts and organizes it in a way that honors God. We don’t do the sifting and organizing; we let God take care of that. We’re active in the process, but because He knows all truth, He sets up the organizational system, knowing what files and tabs we’ll need throughout our lives. When we use His system, we can file away everything as we become familiar with it, and it fits. There will be gaps because we don’t gather all the knowledge at once. We will wonder how a piece fits when it seems to be sitting off to itself. We wonder why we can’t just cram two files together because they seem so familiar. But God knows. He’s creative and organized; He knows what He’s doing.
When we love and trust God, we don’t compartmentalize what He teaches us. We don’t say, “Well, that’s just too hard or inconvenient. That really doesn’t fit into my plan.” We might not like His teaching in the sense that we prefer something a bit less…harsh or uncomfortable…but our love for God overrides our like of something He’s teaching us. Our love for Him is a commitment—a commitment that includes whatever and whenever He includes.
Love with knowledge requires an intimacy with God—an intimacy you will continually seek and continually receive. Because your relationship and your knowledge of and with Him is progressive, ever-deepening, you won’t “arrive” while on earth. You won’t get to a point that you say, “That’s all I need.” He increases, replaces, and tweaks our knowledge and understanding. It’s because He loves us. How we respond portrays our love for Him.
Dear God, I want my love for You to involve everything about You. I don’t want to set limits and try to define what is convenient and comfortable to me. I want to continually grow in my relationship with You. I know it’s going to be difficult at times, because as You reveal Yourself to me, I’m going to have to refile some things that I thought I had right but have misunderstood. I trust you to know what fits where and when to teach and reteach me. Give me a love for You that covers everything about You, including all Your commandments that confuse me or make me squirm. Thank You for always honoring my search for You and always sharing Yourself so that I grow in knowledge of You. I will love You with knowledge.