stop trying to love god

#004: Stop Trying To Love God & Let God Love You [Podcast]

Growing up my number one prayer was “God help me love you more”… I say growing up… but I mean until just a couple of years ago.

In my experience it is the number 1 prayer of most people I meet.

But the truth is it’s evidence that we are focusing on the wrong thing. Our love for God.

If we focused on His love for us then we would love God with everything we can… our issue is we are focused on us and not on God.

How to listen

  • You can listen to this podcast using the player at the top of this post – just hit play.
  • There is also a download button you can press to download the mp3 to your computer or MP3 player.
  • If you want to subscribe to the podcast you can do so on iTunes here


I’m back from New England for two weeks
My next two trips are:

  • Alabama/Tennessee – 6th-18th Nov
  • Sale, UK – 24-28th Nov

Details of these and other upcoming trips can be found on my itinerary

I’m booking up 2014 fast, if you are interested in having me come speak to your church, fellowship, ministry, ministry school in 2014 please contact me soon!

Stop Trying To Love God & Let God Love You

In today’s podcast I talk about:

  • Why so many believers struggle to love God more
  • Why Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
  • How trying to love God effects your ability to serve God
  • How trying to love God effects your ability to hear God
  • How trying to love God effects your ability to approach God
  • How trying to love God effects your ability produce the fruit of the Spirit
  • What you should do as a believer to grow in your love for God

Be featured on the next podcast

There were no questions asked this week so there is no questions segment but this podcast is pretty packed so it’s all worked out well.

Next week’s podcast I’m going to be looking at the purpose of the law and how believers are not under the law.

If you want to leave a question for me then please do leave a comment below!

Want to help me out?

It would bless me so much if you like this podcast if you could subscribe to it in iTunes and leave a review. This helps more people find the podcast and connect with a good God.


If you have any questions about today’s topic please do leave them below.

Additionally I’d love to ask you a question.

What can you practically do today to focus on God’s love for you more than your love for God?

Please do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Intro/Extro Music used with permission from St. Theodore

Enjoy the post? Share it...


  1. Its ALL about Jesus! Great word Phil.. Welcome back home *smiles*.. Once again THANKS for been a Blessing to the world! Say hello to you lovely family. Have a Great weekend.. #Graced

  2. Hey Phil, as always great podcast.

    My question this week is something that came up the other night. And that is, how should we spend our “devotional time”? Some people that I talk to seem to make this into a “chore”, saying that they need to spend X amount of time each day in the word and in prayer to try and keep “in touch” with God. So I was wondering, is it really good to set up your own rules or set time to be in the word, and read even if you don’t feel like reading? Or would you get more out of it if you just genuinely wanted to read the word, and let that come spontaneously, even if it is not every day, or even every week?

    • Great question Nick.

      I think you are absolutely right – God wants us to spend time with Him… not to “have to”.

      The truth is if you spend more time in God’s presence you get more passionate about spending more time in God’s presence. What you focus on will increase.

      So when we haven’t been spending time with God there is a choice we make to get passionate about it. We say… I don’t feel like it but I know I will enjoy it, I know it will hep me connect with God in a meaningful way again… therefore I’m going to force myself to take time out and hangout with God.

      It’s not to earn anything but to just simply break through complacency of not spending time aware of His presence.

      Hope that helps.

  3. Excellent word, Phil! Peter’s confidence was on his love for Jesus and John’s confidence was on Jesus’ love for him. You explained this beautifully. Thanks for sharing, Phil.

  4. Dear Phil,
    I love this wonderful message you share with us. I’m translating it into German, my language, because I think too many Christians don’t really know or understand that.
    But while looking for bible verses I found two verses I wonder how they fit into this whole message. It’s John 14:15 and John 14:21
    Do you understand the context?

    Thank you very much.
    God loves you :-)

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Same context as the other “Greatest commandment” it’s something Jesus is telling people to do in order to reveal they can’t.

      “if you love me, you will obey my commandments”…

      Well… we all know we don’t love Him perfectly… and we certainly know we don’t obey all His commandments.

      So it’s a statement that forces us to evaluate our efforts and our works and leads us to grace.

      Takes us back to letting God love us, which produces love in us, which causes us to bear good fruit.

      Hope that helps.

  5. Phil,

    Great stuff! Thank you so much for what you’re doing.

    I have a number of questions I’d love to hear your thoughts on.

    1. If we are dead to the law and the law consciousness only stirs up sin in us (As we see in Romans 7), how do we navigate temptation? What is our responsibility in temptation? Do we give in since we are free and since to resist and try, knowing it is against the “Law”, will only make it worse?

    2. For someone who has a true, saving faith in Jesus alone, would it be safe to say that they can now live as if no law even exists?

    3. Since we are now free from the penalty of the law, but what kind of effect does transgressing the law (sinning) now have on the believer? Does it in anyway separate us from God?

    Thanks, love your stuff!

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much.

      Let me jump at your questions and excuse me for my brevity but my wrists are still not up for an in-depth response…

      1) Unfortunately the way many people think of themselves makes the struggle “in the flesh”… ultimately it’s not something you can be set free from. It’s a losing battle. If your temptation comes from the flesh… well… when exactly do you plan to be free from it? So I think that’s a big thing, understanding that temptation is an external thing.

      Temptation’s greatest strength is it plays on our desire to “do right” and “avoid wrong” to go back under the law.

      Once we understand that we understand that temptation is external then we know that doesn’t need to effect us if our internal lifestyle is healthy.

      So the way we fight temptation is by “ignoring it” in one sense. How do we ignore it. Focus on our union with Him. Our relationship with the Trinity. If we feel tempted it’s usually a sign that we are not enjoying our union with God right now and are starting to go back to “fleshly” living … that living without God based upon what’s right or wrong.

      2) Yes, but not in the sense that they have deeds that are contrary to the fruit of the spirit. The law is good, perfect and holy… it just can’t produce good, perfect or holy behaviour. So it’s not that we do things contrary to the heart of the law (i.e. goodness, perfection and holiness) but rather we live in the only thing that can produce those things, grace.

      3) It has very real and practical consequences. Sin leads to death and will have very real consequences for us in the “real” world. If you kill someone you are going to feel bad, you are going to go to jail, you might have problems with your relationships, or getting a job etc. If you commit adultery you are going to have issues with your spouse, your kids etc.

      However it does not separate us from God. He has never run from sin but rather He runs towards us in our sin to help pick us up and get us back on our feet. In the midst of our sin He is present, He is in us and He begs us to approach His throne of grace.

      I have more on this stuff in the resources section under my video “Christians are not under the law” –

      Hope that helps – sorry again I couldn’t get into it in too much depth.

  6. Hi Phil! I wanted to thank you so much for this podcast!! I, too, have struggle for years to love God more and have begged with Him and pleaded asking Him to show me how. Your teaching on this makes perfect sense! I feel set free from years of a struggle that has really harmed me. This is utterly life changing!! I am so grateful to have heard this and I am so thankful for you!

    • You are so welcome Debra – so glad you enjoyed it! :) This is one of the biggest revelations I’ve had in my life… I didn’t know how big a burden I’d placed myself under until I removed it!

  7. Thank you Phil. MIND-OPENING.

    It’s just one thing that I need more explanation about which is your ‘the more you grow up, the more you shd let yourself to be taken care of’. As far as I know when we were little we were very dependent and as we grow up we become independent. So please xplain.

    Secondly, can you share your playlist of songs that focus on Jesus loving us more than us love on Jesus.

    Thank you


    • Hi Maria,

      I was not driving a parallel to us as children as opposed to us as adults. Rather I was saying that Peter (and us most of the time) in our immaturity wants to do things in our own strength. Jesus was pointing this out and saying, that as we mature we will understand the importance of not leaning on our own efforts but allowing God to work in and through us.

      Hope that helps.

  8. Great message on God’s love for us, Thank you! I want to share with my group and as I’m preparing I did not understand or could not find in which verse Peter says that he loves Jesus so much that he wouldn’t betray Him ( John 13)? Help?? Thank you very much

    • Hi Vane, glad you liked this – I’m afraid I’m on the road and don’t remember which account from which gospel this is recorded. If you look through them you should find it though. It was a long while back I recorded this!

      Try Luke 22, or Matthew 26… I don’t remember where it is in Mark.

      I used a combination of all 4 accounts of this event to tell the story.

  9. Hi Phil, Just found your podcast/website and listened to this message first. Excellent post. My question is this: How do we receive God’s love for us? I think there must be blocks in my life from receiving his love. How do I let God love me and grow in trusting his love? Any ideas or resources you recommend for this? Thank you.

    • Hi Greg,

      I think it’s the same as learning to receive love from anyone.

      Consciously spend time with the Lord, listen to songs that speak of His love for us and not our love for Him. Read the scriptures looking for the love of God not the demand of the love of people. Meditate especially on the passages that speak of God’s love for us.

      I’m still learning myself – I don’t think any of us grew up in a perfect environment and we are all learning to receive perfect love perfectly.

      Time does wonders though.

      • Thanks for your response. I think I knew your answer would be something like that. Of course, I’m always looking for that “silver bullet”, but life doesn’t seem to work that way : ) I’m really glad I found your site!

        • Glad you like the site Greg… yes – sorry I don’t have one of those (a silver bullet) if I did I’d look a lot more perfect than I do ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *