An instant of pure love is more precious to God and the soul, and more profitable to the church, than all other good works together (John of the Cross)
A personal relationship with God, will satisfy all our needs. One does not find divine favor by attempting to substitute morality, religion, good works or even church involvement for intimacy with God. There are some who feel that their beliefs constitute reality, but truth; not our ideas about truth, is the essence of reality. When we believe truth, we will experience reality and we will experience reality when we believe truth. Joseph Cafasso states the purpose of our creation, "We were born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more."
Jonathan Edwards defines the goal of pure religion. He said, "The essence of all true religion lies in holy love; and that in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion."
What happens to us when we embrace something other than love in our efforts of pleasing God, is the same thing that happens to a wolf when it licks a frozen blade of deception. What? Okay, to explain this idea here's a story by Paul Harvey in one of his famous "The Rest of the Story" commentaries. He described in vivid detail how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The process begins when an Eskimo coats a knife with animal blood and freezes it. He then adds another layer and another layer of blood, freezing each deposit until the blade is completely concealed. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. After that it is just a matter of time before a wolf following his sensitive nose finds his way to the source of the scent. After discovering the bait, he begins licking the blade and tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge becomes bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the Arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf doesn't notice the razor sharp sting of the naked blade on his tongue-nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more and more-until the dawn finds him dead in the snow! When we attempt to please God through our good works, going to church, beliefs or things it is the same as trying to satisfy our appetite for true religion with a sharp blade of deception (Romans 8:9; Matthew 7:21-23).