How much easier would things be if God just set everything such that we would just love Him like we’re supposed to and just follow His commands like He wants us to? We wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not we’re pleasing Him then right?
This is one of those things that I think trips up the non-believer because they feel that, if God is so powerful and so good, He wouldn’t have turned us loose to screw things up and ultimately, all would be good and He would be happy. What this train of thought (which can sometimes be had by a follower in their spiritual infancy too by the way) fails to see is that a choice–free will–given to humanity is a further extension of His love. Free will to choose to do right or wrong, to love Him or not. Unfortunately, we don’t “just love” God without effort; we have to make a choice to love Him. It is choosing to love that gives love its meaning to the recipient. While God created us with the purpose of fellowship and a relationship with Him, He did give us the choice to choose that for ourselves. This is why it is received as love by Him; He knows that His sons and daughters have chosen to, at least in part, reciprocate His love.
Mark shared in his thoughts that we decide to love, that it is not some euphoric state that just remains in a holding pattern. Our relationship with the Creator, amazing as it is and can be, doesn’t include a cloud of loving feelings where we just stay locked on to His will and commands all the time (only if!) and we just love Him without consciously deciding to do so. Decisions are hard to make. Sticking to them and following through can often be even harder. But, it is this decision and follow through that demonstrates love to our God (and others in our lives), and it is because of the decision and actions involved that causes it to be perceived as love to others.
Choose to love, and follow through to love well.