Can You Really Love God?
“NO MAN may see me and yet live,” says God. (Exodus 33:20) Further, since Bible times there has been no evidence of any human having had direct communication with him. Does it not seem difficult—even impossible—to develop deep affection for someone whom you have never directly seen or heard? Is it really possible to have a loving relationship with the Creator of the universe?
There should be no doubt that it is possible to develop a warm personal attachment to God. At Deuteronomy 6:5, we read that the nation of Israel was commanded: “You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.” Jesus Christ later reaffirmed this law to his followers and added: “This is the greatest and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37, 38) Would the Bible exhort us to love God if such a relationship were unattainable?
But does Jehovah expect us to love him just because he commands it? No. God created the first human couple with the capacity to love him. Adam and Eve were not forced into a loving relationship with their Creator. Rather, God surrounded them with ideal circumstances in which to develop deep affection for him. The choice was theirs—get closer to God or withdraw from him.
Walking With the True God
For example, in the Bible, Abraham is spoken of as being God’s “friend.” (James 2:23) Yet Abraham was by no means the only one who enjoyed an intimate relationship with God. The Bible speaks of many other imperfect humans who displayed genuine affection for Jehovah and “walked with the true God.”—Genesis 5:24; 6:9; Job 29:4; Psalm 25:14; Proverbs 3:32.
God’s servants of old were not born with love and affection for God. They had to develop it. How? By getting to know him by his personal name, Jehovah. (Exodus 3:13-15; 6:2, 3) By being aware of his existence and Godship. (Hebrews 11:6) By frequently meditating on his loving acts. (Psalm 63:6) By expressing in prayer to God their innermost thoughts. (Psalm 39:12) By learning of his goodness. (Zechariah 9:17) By developing a healthy fear of offending him.—Proverbs 16:6.
Can you become God’s friend and walk with him? True, you cannot see God or hear his voice. Nevertheless, Jehovah invites you to become ‘a guest in his tent,’ his friend. (Psalm 15:1-5) Thus, it is possible for you to love God. But how can you develop an intimate and affectionate relationship with him?