Many of us won’t let him love us.

We are so used to rejection that we have a built-in defense mechanism that rejects him before he has a chance to show us how much he loves us.

I have watched people reject love the more you try to show it. Why? They are afraid it isn’t really true. They are afraid it won’t last. They basically mistrust any overture of love.

What are the ways we block God’s love?

By trying to perform. This is what we do when we don’t accept ourselves or believe his love toward us (1 John 4:16).

It is our way, consciously or unconsciously, of trying to get his approval by our good works. Lord, I will follow you; ‘I will lay down my life for you’ (John 13:37). ‘Lord, you know that I love you’ (John 21:15).

By refusing to feel good in his presence unless we are sure we have been ‘making the grade’. This means we are going to feel pretty awful most of the time! (Jeremiah 17:9). We need to be careful here, for when we feel ‘good’ in his presence in this manner we are vulnerable to self-righteousness—which he doesn‘t like!

By not believing his love (1 John 4:19).

In other words, it is sheer unbelief at work when we don’t believe he loves us.

God says, as it were, ‘Stop it!’ But we often don’t let that unbelief worry us—it should.

God is unhappy with us when we don’t believe his own Word.

By not believing we are forgiven even after we have confessed our sins: ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9). This is a word to Christians. God goes to great lengths to show what it means if we have truly confessed our sins; he is two things: Faithful—he will keep his Word. Just—his justice is intact when he forgives.

By deliberate disobedience (1 John 1:7).

If we don’t walk in the light we forfeit two things until we recommence walking in the light: Fellowship with the Father—intimacy.

The cleansing of Christ’s blood—a good conscience.

When we deliberately disobey we cut off the lines of communication whereby we feel his love.

We are refusing to feel his love when we are in disobedience.

We are not letting God pour out his love if we are not sincerely wanting to please him.

R. T. Kendall, Understanding Theology, Volume One (Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus, 1996), 327–328.