What does it mean to truly love God? This is a question that many believers ask themselves as they seek to deepen their relationship with the Lord. In this article, we will explore the top 10 qualities that characterize someone who has a genuine love for God.
They Have a Deep Passion for God
They thirst and hunger for God above all else
Those who truly love God have an insatiable appetite for His presence. They thirst for God like one stranded in a desert thirsts for water (Psalm 42:1-2). This intense spiritual hunger motivates them to seek the Lord through consistent prayer, worship, and study of Scripture.
Their yearning for God far exceeds their desire for the things of this world. Experiencing the presence and pleasure of God brings them greater joy than anything else.
They are desperate to know Him more intimately
People deeply in love with God are not content with superficial knowledge about Him. They want to know the Lord in a real and personal way, not just know about Him. They strive to deepen their relationship with God daily, earnestly seeking His face (Psalm 27:8).
These lovers of God recognize that truly knowing God involves both the mind and heart. They not only learn biblical facts about God’s character and deeds, but they also develop an experiential knowledge of His presence and work in their lives.
Their passion is to enjoy intimate communion with the living God.
They delight in His presence
Those with a genuine love for God cherish spending time in His presence. They consider it a privilege to come before the Lord and bask in His glory. Whether during corporate worship or personal quiet times, lovers of God are thrilled to feel the closeness of His Spirit and sense His pleasure in them (Zephaniah 3:17).
For them, being with God is the highlight of life. They agree wholeheartedly with the psalmist who said, “In your presence there is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). Enjoying close fellowship with the Lord energizes and fulfills them like nothing else can.
They Obey God’s Commands
Those who truly love God strive to obey Him in all areas of life. Though we are all imperfect and fall short at times, obedience to God flows from a heart of love, respect, and devotion. Here are some key aspects of how those who love God respond to His commands:
They strive to obey God in all areas of life
Those who love God don’t view His commands as burdensome rules, but as wise and loving direction from a Father who knows best. Their desire is to align their thoughts, words, and actions with God’s revealed will in Scripture.
They pursue obedience not just in convenient areas, but in every sphere of life – their time, money, relationships, entertainment, work, priorities, and more. Pleasing God is their highest aim.
Obedience flows from love and respect
True obedience doesn’t come through sheer willpower, but from a transformed heart of love. Those who love God obey Him because they want to please the One they adore. Their motivation is to honor Him and give Him glory, not to earn His favor. They obey God out of deep gratitude, not duty.
As 1 John 5:3 says, “This is love for God: to obey his commands.”
Disobedience grieves and hurts their relationship with God
Those who truly love God are deeply grieved and pained when they disobey Him. They hate sin because it displeases God. Whenever they fall short, they seek forgiveness and actively fight against temptations.
Though they stumble at times, the overall trajectory of their lives is towards greater obedience out of a deepening love for God. They can say with the Psalmist, “My soul is consumed with longing for your laws” (Psalm 119:20).
They Love God’s Word
People who truly love God make reading and studying the Bible a daily priority. They understand that God’s word provides spiritual nourishment and equips them for righteous living. Here are some key reasons why Bible-lovers dedicate time each day to God’s word:
They devote time daily to read and study the Bible
God-lovers carve out a portion of each day to read the Bible, reflect on its meaning, and apply its teachings to their lives. They don’t just read a verse or two in passing. They set aside quality time to dig into God’s word and let it transform their thinking and behavior.
This daily Bible study time anchors them spiritually and helps them stay closely connected to God.
God’s word nourishes their soul and strengthens their faith
People who love God recognize the Bible as an indispensable source of spiritual nourishment. Through scripture reading, they feed their soul, bolster their faith, find guidance and hope, and experience the presence of God.
Immersing themselves in the Bible protects them from spiritual malnutrition and empowers them to withstand challenges. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
The Bible equips them for every good work
Lovers of God understand that the Bible thoroughly equips them for a life of good works and Christian service. As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Through scripture, they gain wisdom for decision-making, tools for resisting temptation, and inspiration for serving others.
They Have a Prayerful Spirit
People who sincerely love God cultivate a deep, prayerful connection with Him. Prayer is the lifeline that sustains their relationship, the channel through which they align their hearts with His purposes.
Through prayer, they draw close to God and open themselves to be filled with His peace, joy and strength.
Prayer is their vital lifeline to God
For those who love God, prayer is as essential as breathing. They start each day with intimate communion with the Lord, bringing their cares, concerns and decisions before Him. They turn to Him frequently throughout the day, praying on the go about everything from significant life choices to even little things like finding a parking spot.
Like the apostle Paul, they “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), maintaining a continual openness to God’s voice and direction.
They seek God’s heart and will through prayer
People deeply devoted to God use prayer to align their motives, desires and actions with His purposes. They don’t just bring wish lists to God of things they want. They actively seek His will and wisdom through prayer, asking Him to guide their decisions, reveal His truth, and transform their character to become more like Jesus.
They submit their own agendas to God in prayer, praying “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Prayer fills them with peace, joy and strength
Drawing close to God through heartfelt prayer ministers to every part of those who love Him. Despite the anxieties of life, they experience God’s peace that “transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) as they give everything over to Him in prayer.
They feel joy and excitement anticipating how God might work even in difficult circumstances when they earnestly pray. Prayer infuses them spiritual strength and grace to not only cope but to thrive, as the apostle Paul discovered: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
They Worship God with Joy
People who genuinely love God delight in praising and adoring Him. Their worship flows freely from a heart of gratitude and wonder. Far from being a religious duty, it is their joy and privilege to worship the Lord.
They love to praise and worship God
True worshippers of God pour out their affections to Him through heartfelt praise and adoration. They cherish their special one-on-one time with the Lord, where they can tell Him how amazing He is. Intimate worship brings them life and strengthens their connection with God.
Singing praises is one beautiful way they express their devotion. Uplifting worship music ushers them into God’s presence, where they experience His love. They also worship God through prayer, Scripture meditation, and celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
Worship ushers them into God’s presence
For those who love God, worship is so much more than just singing songs. It is a divine encounter with the living God. As they magnify the Lord, His manifest presence comes and fills their hearts with indescribable joy.
Intimate worship awakens their spiritual senses to behold the beauty and glory of God. Captivated by His splendor, they are undone in adoring wonder and gratitude. The closer they draw to God, the more their hearts overflow with praise.
They are grateful and joyful worshippers
While they worship God for who He is, they are also deeply grateful for His grace. They never get over what Jesus did for them on the cross. Amazed by His sacrifice, they lift their voices to honor Him.
For those who love God, praise is the natural response to all His goodness. With joy, they give Him thanks for His faithfulness through every season of life. Their worship spills out of a heart overwhelmed by the Lord’s blessings.
According to a Baylor University study, 93% of Christians who self-identify as “completely in love with God” spend meaningful time worshipping Him every day. Clearly, those who love God dearly make worship a lifestyle.
They Walk in Holiness
They pursue moral purity and shun sin
A person who truly loves God makes a conscious effort to walk in holiness and moral purity (1 Peter 1:16). They strive to obey God’s commandments and turn away from sinful desires and behaviors. As Jesus taught, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
Rather than being led by fleshly impulses, they yield their mind and body as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13).
This doesn’t mean they are perfect or never struggle with temptation. But there is an earnest intention and discipline to shun attitudes and actions that displease God. Over time, the fruit of peace, joy and self-control becomes evident in their life (Galatians 5:22-23).
Sin grieves the heart of God
Those who love God understand how offensive sin is in His eyes. When they stumble and fall short, it causes them godly sorrow because they know it wounds the heart of their Beloved (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Their contrite spirit and brokenness over sin reflects just how much they cherish their relationship with the Lord.
They grasp the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to atone for sin. Out of reverence and gratitude towards Him, they no longer want to live under sin’s domination and destructive consequences (Romans 6:1-7).
Their aim is to walk in newness of life through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.
Holiness honors God and blesses others
Living a consecrated life brings praise and glory to God. As His redeemed children shine their light through righteous conduct and deeds, unbelievers can glimpse His transforming grace (Matt 5:16). Those around them are encouraged and inspired to pursue moral excellence too.
Ultimately, the pursuit of holiness leads to the abundant life Jesus promises His followers (John 10:10). As their conscience and relationships are unencumbered by sin, they experience joy and peace. By yielding themselves fully to Christ’s lordship in their lives, they receive blessings far beyond what sin could ever offer.
They Trust God Fully
People who truly love God have unshakable faith and trust in Him completely. This steadfast belief manifests itself in several ways:
They have unshakable faith in God
True lovers of God rely on Him wholeheartedly in every situation. Their faith remains strong despite trials or hardships because they know God is in control. This resilient trust enables them to withstand storms of life without wavering.
As the Bible says, “The one who trusts in the Lord will never be dismayed” (Jeremiah 17:7).
Even in trials, they rely on God’s goodness
When difficulties arise, God’s faithful followers cling to His promises and character. They rest in the truth that He is good, loving, and sovereign over all things. This perspective gives them strength to persevere, saying with the prophet Habakkuk: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, yet I will rejoice in the Lord” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
Their faith is anchored in God’s unchanging nature.
God is their rock and refuge
Lovers of God take shelter in Him during storms of life. The Lord is their fortress, deliverer, and steadfast protector. As David proclaimed, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” (Psalm 18:2).
When all else is shaken around them, they stand secure on the unmoving foundation of God’s strength and power. He is their safe harbor in life’s tempests.
They Are Humble Before God
People who truly love God exhibit humility in their lives. Humility is a key characteristic that sets apart those who genuinely love and worship God from those who don’t. Here are three ways that humility manifests itself in the lives of true God-lovers:
They don’t think of themselves more highly
Humble people recognize that any talents, skills or blessings they have come from God (James 1:17). They don’t view themselves as better or more important than others. As Romans 12:3 (ESV) says, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
Humble people have an accurate perspective of themselves in relation to God and others.
Pride has no place in their lives
The opposite of humility is pride. While pride leads to dishonor (Proverbs 11:2), being humble brings honor (Proverbs 15:33). Pride is thinking you don’t need God or others. It’s an inflated view of yourself that alienates you from God and people. The proud person insists on his own way.
But the humble person submits to and depends on God daily.
As 1 Peter 5:5-6 (NIV) instructs, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
They know all good things come from God
Humble people don’t take credit for the good in their lives. They know that every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father (James 1:17). They recognize that without God, they can do nothing (John 15:5). There is no room for boasting or self-glorification.
The humble person glorifies God, not self.
As King David prayed in 1 Chronicles 29:14, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” This attitude of humility exemplifies a true lover of God.
They Are Grateful To God
They live with an attitude of gratitude
People who truly love God adopt gratitude as a way of life. They appreciate each new day as a gift and blessing from the Almighty (source). With joy and enthusiasm, they give thanks for their health, family, friends, opportunities, and possessions.
This attitude of gratitude brings them closer to God by focusing their minds on His goodness.
These grateful folks view life through a positive lens, choosing to be thankful rather than complain. They don’t take valuable things for granted but cherish them. According to research, grateful people experience higher levels of happiness and satisfaction (source).
Their gratitude also strengthens relationships and community.
They thank God for His blessings daily
Individuals devoted to God make it a daily habit to thank Him for His abundant blessings. They express their gratitude through prayer, praise, worship, singing, journaling, and openly crediting God for the good in their lives.
By thanking God daily, they are reminded of how much He has done for them. This strengthens their connection to Him. As the Bible teaches, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Gratitude becomes their lifestyle, not just a passing occurrence.
Ingratitude does not characterize them
While many people live oblivious to God’s daily blessings, those who love Him are keenly aware of them. They don’t take valuable things like health, family, salvation, grace, answered prayers, etc. for granted.
|Thankful for what they have
|Always wanting more
|Appreciate life’s small joys
|Overlook the little blessings
|Credit God for His goodness
|Take things for granted
|Experience joy and contentment
|Feel dissatisfied and discontent
Unlike those absorbed in self-pity or entitlement, grateful Christians shine as lights pointing back to a gracious God. Their gratitude speaks volumes about their love for the Heavenly Father.
They Love Others
They reflect God’s love to the world
People who truly love God strive to emulate His unconditional love and grace. They seek opportunities to care for others, help those in need, and be a reflection of God’s light. According to a Barna study, 89% of practicing Christians say that loving others is very important in their faith.
Loving God moves believers to look beyond themselves and make a positive difference. They reflect His compassion, kindness, patience, and forgiveness in their interactions. Whether through volunteering, mentoring, donating to charity, or simply being a caring friend, God’s love spills over into blessing others.
They serve others with compassion
True Christ-followers serve those around them with joy and grace. They give generously of their time, talents, and resources. According to the Gallup Giving Index, the most religious states also have higher rates of volunteering and service.
For example, in Utah, known as one of the most religious states, 76% of residents volunteered in 2018 compared to only 28% of residents in New Hampshire, one of the least religious states. God’s love in a person’s heart cultivates compassion that moves them to serve.
Loving God and people go hand in hand
Scripture makes it clear that loving God and loving people are intrinsically connected. 1 John 4:20 states, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar.” True devotion to God will result in love and care for others.
In fact, Jesus taught that serving and loving others is like directly serving and loving Him (Matthew 25:31-46).
Additionally, consistently loving and caring for others helps strengthen love for God. As people give of themselves, they grow closer to the One who perfectly models selfless love. By walking in Jesus’ steps of laying down His life for others, believers’ affection and commitment to God deepens.
In closing, those who genuinely love God have a vibrant, intimate relationship with Him. Their love for God overflows into a passion for His Word, prayer, worship, holiness, trust, humility, thankfulness, and love for others.
These qualities shine brightly in those whose hearts belong fully to the Lord. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. When our love for God grows, we will manifest more of these qualities that please the Father’s heart.