It can be quite complicated because we humans have many different aspects to our makeup which are all inter-related. I found it helpful to try and look at them individually. In that way, we’ll be better able to…
Love God with our whole being
Last time I covered mind and heart. Now I’ll attempt to discuss what it means to love God with the physical and non-physical aspects of our makeup.
We are loving God with our physical bodies when we:
- Get enough rest, eat healthy, and exercise in order to serve God better—not just to feel and look good
- Live a balanced life of work and relaxation
- Use our 5 senses in a God-honoring way. For example:
~Watch, listen to, and smell only wholesome things
~Touch people appropriately
- We take action in obeying God. For example:
~Take care of our families and other God-given responsibilities
~Follow a prompting to do an act of kindness like making a meal or driving someone to the doctor’s office.
- Use our mouth to speak truth to others
- Use our material possessions for God’s glory (although this is not an actual part of our makeup, I just had to include it here! 🙂 )
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17)
(Will, personality, temperament, abilities, conscience, spirit)
We are loving God with our will when we:
- Make right choices
- Put in the effort to do the hard things (otherwise known as discipline)
- Develop good habits—spiritual and non-spiritual. For example: reading God’s word, being on time, etc.
- Break bad habits
- Determine to do God’s will no matter what—“Not my will but Your will be done” mentality
- Persevere and endure hardship; refuse to give up
- Resist temptation; fight with every ounce of our being not to give in
We are loving God with our temperament, personality, and abilities (including our spiritual gifts) when we:
- Use our personality in our service to God. For example: if an extrovert, then we serve in a ministry involving people; if an introvert then we serve more behind the scenes
- Serve in the area of our giftedness
- Use our temperament in a God-honoring way. For example:
~If we tend to be laid-back, we don’t allow ourselves be lazy
~If we are a doer, we try to do a task in His strength not our own
~If we are a good organizer, we use that gift to help others instead of criticizing them.
~If we tend to be a perfectionist, we strive for excellence instead.
We are loving God with our conscience when we:
- Are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction when we stray from His ways
- Repent quickly
We are loving God with our spirit and the rest of that immaterial part of us when we:
- Avail ourselves of Christ’s power within us for His glory
…struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Col 1:29)
- Allow the character and traits of Christ to manifest itself through us
- Let Christ be the Source of everything
In summary, love God with all you got and with all your might. Love Him with the very BEST you have to offer in this moment.
So my friends, I hope this exercise has increased your understanding of what it means to love God with your whole being. I know I have fallen way short in adequately discussing such an esoteric subject. But I pray that, at the very least, I have stimulated your thinking. I will entrust the Holy Spirit to do the rest, because spiritual truths can only be spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:10-16).
For me, my eyes have been opened up afresh as to how much I fall short in loving God with all of who I am. Alleluia! He loves you and me—shortcomings and all—with all of His heart and soul (Jer 32:41)! Which just makes me love Him all the more!
Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
(TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.