Thursday, August 8, 2013
Loving God...With All My Heart
As I have shared in the past couple of weeks and days, I am so excited about the online Bible study through Proverbs 31 Ministries. We are going through Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God." It has been delightful and also a bit of a struggle. But I am saying "yes" to God and pushing through the struggles.
Now on to finding the topic that is really speaking to me. There are a few to choose from. I will go with what is hitting me right now.
One of the great things that goes along with this study is the opportunity to really dig into God's word and put His word in your heart. This has been especially important for me, because really learning scripture has been tough. We have been studying and meditating on Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
First of all, this could be because I work in radio, but I cannot even read this verse without Lincoln Brewster's song "Love the Lord" running through my head. I have added a You Tube clip to the bottom of this page if you want to listen.
How do I love God with all my heart, soul and strength?
With my heart is kind of the easiest part. I think of my heart as the part of myself that is not necessarily emotional but it is where I feel. All the feelings are wrapped up in my heart. The joys, the fears, the worries, the delights and so on, are all deeply rooted in my heart. Loving God with all my heart to me means loving God when my heart is filled with sadness. Loving God when I am filled with laughter. Loving God when I am scared or worried. Loving God in spite of my feelings and through those feelings. He is constant and always true. He will be there when the sadness is there and when it is over. He will be there when I am rejoicing and when I am in the darkest hours. So I see myself loving God with all my heart and all those things that come out of it and happen to it. My loving God with all my heart means I will always be more consumed with loving Him through it all.
Loving God with all my soul gave me some pause. I think for me this will come even deeper as I grow to know more and more about God. Our heart is something that we can feel even if we never see it. We know it is there. We feel it beat. We even feel in our heart many of the emotions I shared earlier like pain and joy. I think most of us have even felt heart pangs when wounded deeply. There is something strong that we can recognize when our heart is engaged. Our soul is different. This deep part of us is not something that we can simply touch our wrist and feel, but certainly we also know that it is there. How do we love God with something like this? I have friends who have shared that the soul is the center of their feeling and emotion. I just don't feel that way. I think the soul is highly involved with that gut feeling. That simple knee jerk reaction kind of thing. My soul is something that goes beyond feeling emotion. It is the base of my purpose the why I do things. If I am loving God with ALL my soul, my why goes deeper than what feels good. When I truly know God, I will be more in tune with what He wants for me and what He loves. My soul will yearn for God, and pleasing God will be an imperative but not just that. It will be a natural outpouring of that love.
Loving God with all of my strength is is very active to me. I think of my work outs at the gym. First I have to make a choice to do something that is not always easy. Loving God is easy, but the things I choose to do because of my love, not always so simple. As I spend time and dedication with working out, some exercises and weights may seem easier, but they are not easier. I have gotten stronger. I have changed. As I have changed and grown stronger, my work outs have changed as well. I don't do the same things that I started doing. I instead add weight and add resistance and continue to grow. I can handle more pressure than when I first began. How that translates to my love for God and my loving God with all my strength is in the things that I do, I do because I love God, and they often become progressively more difficult and certainly my life does. Loving God doesn't mean I will now have the easiest life going. I'll make some simple yet physical sacrifices like getting up in the morning to spend time with God when I'd rather be snuggling in bed. Praying for someone who is just on my bad side and is just plain unloveable (HARD). Being the best I can be at work, when I am not in the mood to be loving. Asking God to take over when I just cannot do it on my own. Not complaining. Not grousing. Not rolling my eyes. Not losing it when I get cut off by a traffic weaver. Not giving up when things do not go the way I planned. Sharing my love for God in a world that doesn't want to hear it. Sharing God with friends who do not want to hear it (oh man that is tough).
Now is this what YOU mean when you think of loving God with all your heart, soul and strength? I don't know. I got a lot out of just finding out what it means to me. We all have very unique relationships with our God because He has created us each uniquely. I look forward to seeing what it means to others.
There are over 20,000 women all over the world participating in this study. Many will also participate in this blog hop. Some will cover this topic but others will be covered as well. It is all a part of each one of us going to God with our palms up and simply saying "Yes!" I'd like to invite you to check it out. You can do so by clicking on the button below or the button on my side bar.