“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart , and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matt 22:37-38
What does it mean to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? This is the first commandment God gave us, so we know it’s very important to Him. How do we, as weak individuals, love God, the Creator of all things, with “all” of us? How you answer this question will have a profound impact on how you live your life.
Many of us have some ideal in our minds of what it means to love God wholeheartedly. We picture ourselves having a big ministry or standing before thousands of people proclaiming the Word of God. We might think that if we had all day to study the Word, or we could find time to go to the prayer room, or worship God more then we would really be loving God. We might think to ourselves, when my life calms down, when my children are grown, when I get a different job, etc., then I’ll really be able to serve God wholeheartedly. We view these outward activities as a way to prove that we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
In reality, we may read the Word and be distracted by our children running around the house. We may pray but not feel any power, we may share the Word with a neighbor and not see any response. These things might seem small, even insignificant to us and cause us to draw the conclusion that since we feel rather powerless, we aren’t really loving God wholeheartedly. Our love feels small and weak to us.
God, however, see us through a different lens. He looks at us and sees the love in our hearts that motivates us to do those seemingly small things. He sees that we reach out to a neighbor – because we love Him. He sees that we serve our family – because we love Him. He sees that we take time to read the Word and pray – because we love Him. He is not measuring us by our results, He looks on our heart and our motivation. Are we making choices that reflect our desire to love Him and share His goodness with those around us? If the answer is yes, then God is rejoicing over you, knowing that even though it may feel small, your love is your “all.”
Wholehearted love is not perfect, but rather it is love that withholds nothing. God doesn’t expect immediate maturity in our love, He looks for the willing heart – today! Loving God is for today, not sometime in the future. We must not limit our understanding of loving God to what we consider “spiritual activities” like worship, evangelism or Bible study. Spiritual work is defined as work done by a spiritual person. When you honor the Spirit of the Living God inside of you, then everything you do is spiritual. You carry the Lord God Almighty with you into every activity and every place. When you realize that YOU are spiritual, then you won’t be so concerned about what you do or how you feel you measure up to some ideal standard. You were made to commune with God, to live and breathe in Him. Therefore, you can relax and enjoy Him. In other words, you can love God with your whole heart just by being you! Just BE!