Is it really possible to love God with our whole being as He commands in Scripture? Yes! We can because God has given each of His children the desire and capability through Jesus (see last week’s blog).
But what does it mean to love God with our whole being and what does that look like in our everyday life?
Human beings are made up of body, soul, mind, and spirit. We are very complex beings and there are several different ways you could categorize the different aspects of our makeup. For the purpose of this discussion, I’ve broken it down into these four categories:
Mind: thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, memory, imagination, intelligence
Heart: emotions, passions, desires, motivations
Physical: senses, actions
Non-physical: conscience, will, personality, temperament, spirit
All of these aspects are inter-related—each facet affecting and influencing the other. We cannot separate one aspect of our being from another. Nevertheless, it is beneficial to look at each one individually so we can understand ourselves better and therefore love God more fully.
So, let’s take each aspect individually and learn what it…
Means to love God with our Whole being
We are loving God with our mind when we:
- Grow in the knowledge of God (Col 1:11)
- Read and study God’s word with focused attention
- Ponder deeply (meditate) about God’s character and ways
- Seek truth, rebuke lies
- Are open to the possibility that our beliefs may be incorrect and allow God to transform our thinking (Rom 12:2)
- Believe what God says
- Try to determine the root of a sin issue
- Search our souls in order to grow spiritually
- Seek to understand in order to apply God’s truth to our lives—like you are doing now 😊! (Pr 2:1-11)
- Think things through to discern God’s will in a particular situation
- Keep God in the forefront of our minds whenever possible
- Focus our thoughts on God, others, or a God-given task
- Learn how to do something new in order to serve God and others
- Use our imagination for God’s purpose in writing, teaching, witnessing, etc.
- Use our memory to glorify God by remembering what He has done or by memorizing Scripture
In a nutshell, it’s having the same mind as Christ (Phil 2:5, 1 Cor 2:16), where our thought patterns, attitudes, beliefs, and convictions line up with God’s Word.
We are loving God with our heart when we:
- Long to please Him
- Want more of God and less of ourselves
- Let God’s desires overrule our desires
- Temporarily (or permanently) set aside our dreams for Christ’s sake
- Have pure motives—doing something for His glory, not our own
- Seek God’s approval over people’s approval
- Use our passion to serve God and others
- Grieve over our sin and the things that grieve God
- Rejoice in the salvation of a soul, the return of a prodigal, or the spiritual growth of a believer
- Express gratitude to God and others
- Show compassion to the needy
- Empathize with the pain of others
- Lay our feelings on the altar and act in faith despite how we feel. That is, we don’t allow our raging emotions to control us
I could go on and on with these lists, but I hope you get the picture.
I have found it is worth trying to love God in this way—even when the price seems too high to pay.
…What does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul…for your own good. (Deut 10:12-13)
Next week, my friends, I’ll attempt to make sense of what it means to love God with the physical and non-physical parts of our makeup. Until then, I would love to see in the comment section how you would add to the lists of what loving God with your mind and heart means to you!
(NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.