Something to think about.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. ” Matthew 22:36-38 (NKJV)
If you look at the meaning of command, you will not find any reference to choice. But to the question “what is the great commandment” Jesus replies “love the Lord your God.” He did not say fall in love with God He said, “love the Lord your God.” In our culture, we are taught that we will eventually fall in love with someone, or we will find someone who will love us or that we will love. Jesus is commanding us to love at will. Then He reiterates it in verse 38 “great commandment.” It ‘s hard for me to negotiate the concept of a command to love God and what I’ve been taught all of my life.
I wonder if the person asking the question had this response as a possible answer. If I had asked the question, I would have expected a response along the lines of the ten commandments or some other Jewish law. But He responded with a command to love. This commandment the most the difficult to obey is the single greatest commandment. It is a commandment, not a choice, not a get to know you then chose scenario.
The way I understand this command is that we are to make a willful, intentional effort to love God. A deliberate attempt to know who God is in order to love Him. This command is not attainable without personal intent. You are not going to fall in love with God by coincidence. You can only love God when you make an intentional fully cognizant attempt to know Him.
God does not want you to love Him because of what He can do for you, He wants you to love Him because you want to. He wants you to love Him unconditionally. He wants you to love Him when your bank account is overflowing He wants you to love Him when your account is overdrawn. He wants you to love Him when you are in the best of health He wants you to love Him when your baby dies. Sometimes love is no more than a choice and at those times He wants you to choose Him.