"And you shall love your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind
and with all your strength."
Heart * Soul * Mind * Strength
Such a familiar passage and some of the first instructional words from God Himself. It's loaded and it's challenging, but it is certainly what I want to be doing.
God must be my first love. My heart must completely belong to Him above all else. In that, He has the opportunity to truly shape me. Out of that I am freed up to generously love others because it is an overflow of His love - not something I am trying to stir up in my own heart. There is a needy, love-starved world out there. Only God Himself can meet those needs and He chooses to use us as His big arms and love notes to those around us.
I believe that my soul is the very essence of who I am. It is my soul that the Lord saves and my soul that lives on for eternity. The fact that the Lord has redeemed my soul impacts everything else in my life. Everything springs from this knowledge - this grace - this mercy. My soul belongs to my Savior.
Perhaps the most difficult of all of these. I think that keeping my thoughts where I want them to be is the most difficult challenge. Oh, that crazy, wandering mind - too quick to criticize or make snap judgments. I want to feed my mind with the things that honor God - His Word, good teaching and good conversation. With all that is out there, this can be difficult. I have to be intentional about it or it won't happen. Loving God with all your mind is a tall order. You have to WANT it.
God deserves the best I can give. My best efforts and my best energy should be available for His purposes. There is an "all in" idea here - that every ounce of me is directed toward my God. I don't want to leave this earth with even one ounce of strength that could have been used by Him. Even in my weakness - He is strong.
When you look at this verse, it is essentially saying that ALL of me belongs to the Lord. To live for Him requires loving Him with everything that I've got and then some. When I give Him full access, He can do anything. He is not limited by my limitations. In fact, those very limitations make me more useful to Him.
He shines where I do not.
He is strong where I am weak.
He loves when I struggle to love.
His thoughts are higher than mine
when I need a reboot.
His redemption saves my soul.
What does loving the Lord with all your heart,
soul, mind and strength mean to you?
I'd love to hear about it . . .