Supreme love to God will certainly produce self-denial for His sake. It will habitually avoid everything which He has forbidden, and will obey, not a part, but all of His commands. Supreme love will seek communion with its object more than any worldly pleasure. It will pant after Him and for greater conformity to Him; it will seek His glory as its highest interest; it will consider Him as its most desirable portion; it will delight in thinking of Him more than in any worldly object; it will delight in prayer; it will renounce the world and idols, and cultivate a heavenly mind.
As humiliating as the thought is, we know that every person is God's enemy until he is born again. "The carnal mind is enmity against God." Hence it is, that so many people who attend church regularly and lead regular lives, are so unmindful of God from day after day, neglect prayer, put eternal things out of view, and lose themselves in the eager pursuit of the world.
They must be conscious, if they would only think seriously, that the world engages more of their care than God or their souls, and is of course their supreme god. They must be conscious that prayer is a burden, that pious fellowship is a burden, that the thoughts of God which sometimes intrude are unwelcome, that Christian service is not agreeable to their taste, that they would rather be employed in amusement, or business, or pleasure, or sloth than in godliness; that they would rather be reading an amusing story than the Scriptures.
Surely such people do not love God. Such minds could not be happy in heaven if they were allowed there. They must undergo a radical change or certainly they can find no happiness beyond the grave. Ah Lord God, how many of such are to be found among us--among the dearest friends of our hearts!
- Edward Griffin