The 1st love commandment is the king-daddy commandment of God’s 10 Love Commandments (10LC). When a person decides to NOT keep this commandment in his/her life it is like pushing over the first domino in a long line of sin dominos, meaning disobedience to God’s other 9 love commandments (or more willful sin) will quickly follow suit. In fact, if a person is willfully disobeying ANY of God’s other 9 love commandments, they are simultaneously and automatically disobeying this one! This was the first commandment Lucifer (the original sinner) decided to ignore (disobey) enroute to his sins of lying to and murdering mankind’s souls. Let’s examine this commandment closer.
The best way to begin understanding this commandment is to scrutinize what happened to Lucifer in the Garden of Eden. Listen to Isaiah write about him: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high” (Isaiah 14: 13-14). Does this sound like a being who wants the Creator God to be the God of his life, having NO OTHER God’s before Him? Absolutely not!!! Rather, Lucifer wanted to BE God! It was nothing but pure rebellion against the very being who had given him life in the first place! And there is a word for this “I” syndrome lodged in the center of a person’s heart … it’s called P-R-I-D-E. Whenever a person wants to rule their own life, giving no heed or desire to what the Creator God wants for them, they are in essence trying to be their own God! And this prideful, self-centered heart is a recipe for disaster, for all kinds of sin (love-less thoughts, words, & deeds) will soon radiate from this person’s soul, leading to their eventual destruction in the end (just like Lucifer’s) in the lake of fire.
Now on the other hand, when a person chooses to keep God’s 1st love commandment by making the creator God #1 in their life, here is what occurs … LOVE becomes first place in their heart! Listen, the Creator God IS Love: “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16). In other words, you show me a person who keeps this commandment, and I’ll show you a person who knows how to love, for they will automatically desire to keep God’s other 9 love commandments. How cool is that? Yes, those who obey God’s 1st love commandment have crucified their pride and made LOVE (God) first place in their heart!
As we study the other 9 love commandments, I’m going to make it a point to show you how pride (or selfishness) in a person’s heart is what causes them to disobey it. Make no mistake about it; pride is the ingredient that keeps one from being able to love! Pride & Love are polar opposites: There is no love in pride, and there’s no pride in love. Listen to the Apostle Paul write about real love: “Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity (sin), but rejoiceth in the truth” (I Corinthians 13: 4-6). Really, how many different ways can Paul say love is NOT prideful? I want this truth to sink DEEP into your spirit so that you are keenly aware of what makes a person not be able to love (i.e. makes one not be able to keep God’s 10LC). Most people understand “pride” is an ugly thing; but when you see that THAT is what causes you to sin (think, speak, & do love-less deeds) it may help you be able to step back from yourself for a moment, see clearly, and then conquer it!
Jesus knew all of this (of course!) and it is the reason he made stunning statements about how we can obtain eternal life, like: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:25). And: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35). See, the phrases “love your life” and “save your life” have to do with a person being “self-centered”, and this pride causes them to be unable to love (to disobey God’s 10LC) and their soul will perish in the end! But the phrases “hate your life” and “lose your life” have to do with a person being “self-sacrificing”, and this pride-less mindset causes them to be able to love (to obey God’s 10LC) and their soul will reap eternal life in the end!
Truly, this is no trivial revelation; it is HUGE! For it plainly reveals the secret to what each of us are fighting in our lives in order to obtain eternal life … our OWN foolish PRIDE. Prideful people live wickedly. Humble people live righteously. Keep an eye out for verses in God’s Word that continually confirm this truth, for they are many. Listen to the prophet Malachi: “For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea (yes), all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up” (Malachi 4:1). And the prophet Isaiah: “I (God) will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). Yes, Judgment Day will be terrible for the proud (wicked)!
‘Prayer’ and ‘spiritual fasting’ also fall under keeping the 1st love commandment, for ‘talking to God’ and ‘denying oneself food’ are both ways of showing the Creator God His will is your highest desire. Listen to the prayer Jesus taught mankind to pray to God, and notice how the words are saying, “I have no other gods before You”: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matthew 6: 9-13). How beautiful! How submissive! How WISE!
Yes, the Creator God is love. His will is for you to love. His law for you is to love. You cannot say He is your God (or your Lord) or that you keep His 1st love commandment “having no other gods before Him” when you continually willfully disobey Him (disobey the 10LC). This is why Jesus said: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). So don’t fool yourself, to keep God’s 1st love commandment you must humble yourself and avidly seek and desire His will to be done in your life: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).