“Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
I’ve heard that many, many times. And it is sooo easy to just let it glide by because you know it already. It might have even been a memory verse when you were a child. You might even have memorized it recently in one of your bible studies. Or you might even sang it in church last Sunday or sang with it on the radio yesterday.
But do you really, truly know it? Is it real in your life? Do you really love the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART? AND with ALL YOUR SOUL? AND with ALL YOUR MIND?
The Experiencing God study (Blackaby et al) has a powerful question related to this: If you were standing before God, could you describe your relationship with Him by saying “I love you with all my heart and all my sould and all my mind and all my strength”?
The first time I encountered the question in February, I was trying to be careful how to answer the question because I knew what it meant. To me, that meant… Do you love God enough to give your life for Him? Not that you need to, but are you willing? Do you love God enough to surrender your most cherished whatever-it-is? Just as God gave His son for us.
I am embarrased to say that I could not say “yes” resoundingly. Yes, I could sing it out these words mindlessly or even with such emotions you would think that it is true. But confronted with the question of “do you, really?”, then I realize my pitiful answer.
This made me realize that with all that God was and is to me and what he has done for me, I was not loving him with all my being as what he has commanded! I searched myself deeply and I realized that I was rebelling from not getting what I have been desiring for a long time – a child of my own.
In between, I have had gone through a laparoscopic procedure and 3 medicated cycles of trying to concieve unsuccessfully. I have cried to the Lord and He has comforted me dearly and sweetly. I wanted the Lord to tell me or show me what the future held. I didn’t get the answer I want, only what I needed.
He has assured me that everything is happening according to His plan and that He is always in control. As He has been in my life since I have become His daughter. Imagine the worrying and anxiety the Lord has saved me from! Once again, He has given me His peace that passes all understanding.
God also brought to my mind Hebrews “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” (Hebrews 11:13) As if saying, “see I promised things of more importance to these people and they were faithful until death. How then do you choose to live?”.
Such a powerful challenge.
So the second time I encountered the question this September, I could now heartily say yes, yes, yes! I do love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind!
How about you? What’s in your heart? Where is your soul? What’s in your mind?
Is it God or is it in the things of the world?
Can you say with all conviction that you love the Lord our God with ALL your heart, and with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind?
If not, be not dismayed, my sister. God loves you anyway even if you cannot declare your love for Him with all your being. God will draw you back in.