A Love That Burns

Recently, I read something that reminded me of the Lord’s first and greatest commandment: “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” (Mark 12:30).

Have we been sailing through our faith journey – so singularly focused on the wind, its contrary direction, or its presence or absence, and on the waves, how huge and towering they could become most days as we traverse the rough and deep waters of faith – that we have left behind God’s first and greatest commandment? I know it may always be there, tucked safely in our hearts, but in the midst of life’s overwhelming concerns, we may have forgotten it’s even there. Our love for the Lord, the kind that is active, pulsating with life, and burning with passion, may have slumbered into a deep sleep and we haven’t even noticed.

You have left your first love. I hear it like a faint whisper.

That’s what I realized lately when I read Elizabeth George’s paraphrase of Deuteronomy 6:5:

He wants us to love Him with every fiber of our being — every breath, every ounce of energy, every thought, every emotion and passion, every choice. He wants us to love Him. He wants us to think first of Him and to desire above all else to please Him. And He wants that love to be intense and total…*

It hit me like a strong breeze, the kind that awakens your spirit and senses, and made me think. Yes, in the past many months, I have been immersing myself in all things spiritual, God things – more committed to prayer, Bible reading (and other good Christian books), passages meditation, and verse memorization. But I have to admit that I have been relentlessly pursuing God, first and foremost, to find favor in His sight and receive my healing. Which is not at all a bad thing. But I had forgotten to love Him with as much passion as I beseech Him for my healing.

I hound Him night and day. In my sick bed, I wrestle with the truth of His love for me. I had doubted it, questioned it. Then I would believe it again, based on His Word. I was jealous (still am) of His love for others. I want it; I covet it. I’m hungry for it. I want to experience it in my life, through my healing, through being raised up, through walking in divine health and happiness.

But have I been loving Him with the same intensity as I have been craving His love for me?

To desire above all else to please Him. Yes, my heart and mind have singularly pursued to do this, but my motive is clear:  To find favor in His sight above all else so that I could finally receive answer to my most ardent prayer — healing.

There are moments in a day, when labored breathing eases and heartbeat steadies, that I feel peace bathing my soul, and my heart swells with gratitude to Him. I punctuate those moments with “I love You so much, my dearest Lord Jesus!”

But is it enough? Is it enough to neutralize those times that I am sulky? In the past months, when sickness and suffering intensified once again, have I been loving Him primarily, intentionally and fervently, despite all the hardships, confusion, sorrow, and fear?

The Lord says in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” I read His Word everyday because I genuinely love it. I share it through social media because I want to obey His commands. So yes, I love Him. I love my Lord and Savior. He’s everything to me. But I realized that this love must be very present in my every moment. A hovering presence. The front and center of all my thoughts, desires, and intentions.

For the redeemed who walk in divine health and strength, it s easy for them to plunge themselves at the Savior’s feet and thank and worship Him with all their beings, words of love and adoration dripping from their lips. But for the sick, weak and suffering, this will prove to be more challenging. Groaning is what is mostly heard from them.

But what if I will make a firm decision,  every moment of everyday, to love God intentionally, actively and not passively? Yes, even through those hard and painful times when He seems so far away or just looks on to my suffering and doesn’t deliver me out of it completely? What if, I will choose to see beyond the battering (and His lack of action on it), and will love Him anyway? Love Him without traces of resentment or doubts? Love Him fiercely, with all my mind, heart, soul, and strength? Can I do that? Can we do that?

It is His first and greatest commandment. Even this we need to pray for. Oh, that my love for Him would trump all feelings of self-pity, jealousy, bitterness, and all their kin! That would be a wonderful place to be!

This reminder gives fresh hope, meaning, and purpose to my life. When all I can do is love and adore Him, then that will I do. And I know I wouldn’t be like being “left behind” or defeated or inferior in my faith life or in my place in His Kingdom. For then I would be embracing and obeying God’s greatest commandment. This means so much to Him, more than anything else I could do and give. My place in His heart would be special.

What does your love for the Lord look like?

*Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George.

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Journey with Jesus,


  1. Maria says:

    This word touched me. I’ve struggled since childhood with issues with my teeth. This weekend, a new dental issue arose and I have found myself sulking all weekend. Thank you for this message because like you I adore the Lord and His Word but maybe I need to place greater emphasis on loving Him with my entire being. Thank you!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Praise God for speaking to you through this post, Maria. Just bathe yourself with gratefulness. It’s an antidote to discontentment and unhappiness.

  2. Lux says:

    Ooh, I love this song playing in the background. So lovely and relaxing.

    I guess I need to work harder to keep my love burning.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, Lux. Continue to invite the Holy Spirit in your life. It is through His indwelling that we become more fruitful.

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    I know there are times we want to yell “Where are you God? – I need healing now !!” My issue is not the same as yours dear heart. I have a problem hearing. I have asked Jesus to heal my ears, and have been prayed for by those who seem to have a gift of healing along these lines. – But not yet. This limits my conversations with people, and although I have been trained to counsel, this has had to be set aside because of my ears. I do take notes of our Pastor’s sermons, and his voice is good and the sound system carries well. These sermons are posted to my blog. I do understand we cannot bargain with God. His reasons are far past our understanding. All we can do is to seek His presence and continue doing as He instructs. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you once again, dear Hazel, for your sound counsel. It helps to hear a sensible spirit in this season of life.

  4. Betty Draper says:

    Oh my I have been there more then once. Loving my ministry, loving family, loving others, loving reading, listening, and on my healing from insomnia, or the healing of a family member marriage, etc. There is always something seek Him for instead of seeking Him right in the middle of our burden or our joy. This was a great post.

    • RinaPeru says:

      I believe the thing that works best, Betty, is for us to delight in our Savior through sunny or stormy days, to not resist Him when times are hard, but rather, to open up to Him like the flower turns to the sun.

  5. I too want a heart that burns white hot with love for God. He’s been speaking to me about some of the things that I let get in the way of that.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Yes, Elizabeth, it is letting those things that choke up the love that is really the issue, isn’t it? Like a clogged faucet. But what happens if the impediments are removed – the water will stream copiously!

  6. Brenda says:

    (((Rina))) Will pray for you.
    Thank you for sharing this sweet post this morning.
    I love your words here: ” I love my Lord and Savior. He’s everything to me. But I realized that this love must be very present in my every moment. A hovering presence.” ~ A hovering presence. Love the word-picture of that. Will pray for your comfort and healing. ~ blessings ~

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for the rush of love that you blow towards my way, Brenda! Blessings to you, too.

  7. Barbie says:

    Sometimes my heart feels dull, and that’s when I pray, “Lord, come ignite a fire in me!”. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post at The Weekend Brew!