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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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How Do We Know Whether We Love God?

Thomas Watson

Thomas Watson

In the words of Thomas Watson (1620-1686):

HE WHO LOVES GOD DESIRES HIS PRESENCE. Lovers cannot be long apart, they soon have their fainting fits, for want of a sight of the object of their love. A soul deeply in love with God desires the enjoyment of Him in His ordinances, in word, prayer, and sacraments. David was ready to faint away and die when he had not a sight of God. “My soul fainteth for God” (Psalm 84:2). Such as care not for ordinances, but say, “When will the Sabbath be over?” plainly reveal their lack of love to God.

He who loves God DOES NOT LOVE SIN. “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). The love of God, and the love of sin, can no more mix together than iron and clay. Every sin loved, strikes at the being of God; but he who loves God, has a hatred of sin. He who would part two lovers is a hateful person. God and the believing soul are two lovers; sin parts between them, therefore the soul is implacably set against it. By this try your love to God. How could Delilah say she loved Samson. when she entertained correspondence with the Philistines, who were his mortal enemy?

He who loves God IS NOT MUCH IN LOVE WITH ANYTHING ELSE. His love is very cool to worldly things. His love to God moves swiftly, as the sun in the firmament; to the world it moves slowly, as the sun on the dial. The love of the world eats out the heart of religion; it chokes good affections, as earth puts out fire. The world was a dead thing to Paul. “I am crucified to the world, and the world is crucified to me” (Gal. 6:14). In Paul we may see both the picture and pattern of a mortified man. He that loves God, uses the world but chooses God. The world engages him, but God delights and satisfies him. He says as David, “God my exceeding joy,” the gladness or cream of my joy (Psalm 43:4).

He who loves God CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT HIM. Things we love we cannot be without. A man can do without music or flowers, but not food; so a soul deeply in love with God looks upon himself as undone without Him. “Hide not thy face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the pit” (Psalm 143:7). He says to Job, “I went mourning without the sun” (Job 30:28). I have starlight, I want the Sun of Righteousness; I enjoy not the sweet presence of my God. Is God our chief good, and we cannot live without Him? Alas! how do they show they have no love to God who can do well enough without Him! Let them have corn and oil, and you shall never hear them complain of the lack of God.

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