21 May 2014

Loving God, with ALL.

"Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength."~Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 NLT

I have always thought this verse was a command because it was a "for our own good" kind of thing. Of course we should love God with our everything we've got; it all came from Him, right? That's how He loves us after all, and it only makes sense, etc. 

This morning, a new way to look at it was whispered into my soul as this verse came into my mind:

"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." ~Deuteronomy 4:24 NKJV

I thought of the many astounding encounters I've had with the presence of The Lord, and how, despite the incredible love and light and forgiveness, the sheer weight of glory is physically hard to bear because of the weakness of my flesh. It takes tremendous effort to really receive His Spirit in power, let alone The Lord Himself.

". . . God is love." ~I John 4:8 NKJV

God urges us to love Him with all our heart, soul & strength because that's what it takes to get anything but the tiniest of tastes of Who He Is. He wants to immerse us in His overwhelming transformative power. A light brush with The Lord of Hosts, one that we can control, is not enough. It takes true surrender, world-rocking experiences with His love and presence, to enable us to receive and walk out the glorious plans and callings our beloved Jesus has for us. 

I'll be meditating on what it can mean in my life to love Jesus with all my heart, soul & strength. I'm excited to see what He has to teach me about it. (I think it's far more all-encompassing than I have ever thought . . .)

Lord, I'm so deeply happy to know You, even as physically weak as I am now. Thank You for the way You keep teaching me, one perfectly-sized increment at a time, because each taste is so sweet to my soul. Each piece renews my mind and changes my course to bring me into more alignment with You! I rejoice in Your goodness, Your mercy, Your strength, for You are faithful, God of mine, and I trust You. :-) Totally. I know You will lead me as I follow, so I ask You to teach me more, Lord. Fill me up as I turn to You today, and show me how to love You in all I do. Reveal to me the worship possible in my every moment, so I can pray without ceasing, lifting You up with every breath, in Jesus' name, Amen!

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!