You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)
Yesterday, we addressed the fact that true followers of the Messiah should be motivated to obey Him because we love Him. In other words, that desire should come from our hearts and not just our heads. This is an essential principle found throughout Scripture and serves as a characteristic of those who are truly bondservants to God. According to Scripture, a bondservant is one who serves his master forever, not out of fear, but because he loves His Master. The heart of the servant beats in sync with that of His Master and, therefore, the servant delights to do whatever His Master instructs him to do.
The heart is the seat of emotion, desire and, unfortunately, our evil inclination. That inclination includes craving of food, drink and earthly pleasures, and so, as God’s people we are challenged to channel these cravings into His service. For example, it is not wrong to enjoy what we eat but within the parameters set forth by God in His Word. Ambition and passion can be used in the wrong way but can also be appropriated into God’s service. Before we were born again, we focused our efforts on pleasing the impulses and needs that reigned in our hearts, more often than not, in order to serve ourselves. As followers of the Most High, we need to be people who put our passion and energy into doing what is pleasing to Him.
If it is in our heart to do these things, then it will begin to permeate our minds. Having the heart to obey will affect our faculties, intellect and thoughts etc., which will in turn, affect what we do and what we don’t do. I mean, if your mind is saying, “Let’s go bowling,” your legs are not going to take you fishing. So when our hearts are filled with love and devotion to our Creator, our thoughts will be focused upon Him and His Will for us. Consequently, our actions and deeds — our strength — will be devoted to His service. That is the goal for all believers and is required if we are to overcome in these last days. So it seems appropriate to close with this verse:
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)
Blessings and Shalom,