". . . Love the Lord you God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).
One day during my quiet time I point blank asked the Lord, “What does it mean to love you with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength?” “Help me understand why loving you is a command.”
As I meditated on loving God, more questions came to mind like, “Why the breakdown?” “Why do we have to love you with our hearts? Our souls? Our minds? Our Strength?” The Promise Keeper kept his promise given in Psalm 21:2. He granted the desire of my heart and did not withhold the requests I made.
I began my search for answers. God spoke to my heart through Scripture I found while looking up the key words of his greatest commandment in my concordance. During my exploration he answered every question.
- Our hearts are known as our center, our central core. In the time of Moses, the tabernacle, symbolizing the presence of God, was commanded by God to be arranged in the center of the 12 tribes of Israel (see Numbers 2). To obey God by loving him with all of our hearts means to place God at the center of our being and lives.
- Our souls are the part of us that live forever. They are made in God’s image (see Genesis 2:7 and 1:26). To obey God by loving him with all of our souls means our lives are set on God’s purposes, which are eternal.
- Our minds are full of thoughts, good and bad. To obey God by loving him with all of our minds means to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. And we are to cleanse our minds continually with his word (see 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 and Ephesians 5:26).
- Our strength comes from our physical bodies. To obey God by loving him with all of our strength means we are to surrender our bodies, which were bought by God’s Son for a heavy price, to his service (see Mark 10:43 and 1 Corinthian 6:20).
And then I just so happened to be reading a devotional called, Through the year with Francis of Assisi: Daily Meditations from his Words and Life. In one of the daily devotions he was praying the Lord’s Prayer back to God. He wrote: “. . . Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” that we may love you with our whole heart by always thinking of you; with our whole soul by always desiring you; with our whole mind by directing all our intentions to you and seeking your honor in all things; with all our strength by spending all the powers and senses of body and soul in the service of your love and not in anything else.
If we open our hearts, souls, minds, and strength to love God and allow God to love us with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, we would remain constantly amazed each and every day. I have.