“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Our dryer was in need of repair. We called for service and a nice man named, Todd, came out to fix it. I was excited to have my dryer up and running again. I was unable to hang a clothes line outside (it is against our Association rules) so my house started to look like the “days of yore”. Todd was pleasant and calm. After awhile, we started to make conversation and we discovered we were both believers. He was talking about some missionary service he had done and how one of his four children came with him. His young son asked his father, “Daddy, do you think they love Jesus?” He was doting about how he has taught all of his children to love the Lord with all their heart. He said, “If I can have my children love the Lord wholeheartedly, then I have done well.” I felt breathless, because I wasn’t sure if I could say “yes” to that question. Do I really love Jesus with all my heart or just sometimes? I felt this twinge in my heart, the answer was only, when things were going well.
So, I Googled that question. Yes, I seriously did. What does it mean to love the Lord with all your mind and heart? Some of the answers were, being obedient, to seek Him by reading His word, have faith, trust in Him. I have heard all these things before. But I wasn’t feeling it. Also, being obedient doesn’t feel free, it feels like a chore and there is no love in that. I came across this passage in a book by Richard J. Foster called “Freedom of Simplicity” that seemed more of what I believe it means to have love for the Lord:
“Joy, not grit, the hallmark of holy obedience.
We need to be lighthearted in what we do to avoid taking ourselves too seriously. It is a cheerful revolt against self and pride. Our work is jubilant, carefree and merry. Utter abandonment to God is done freely and with celebration. And so I urge you to enjoy this ministry of self-surrender. Don’t push too hard. Hold this work lightly, joyfully.”
God wants us to love Him without guilt. He wants us to pursue and trust Him in all we encounter and endure. It is so hard to do this because our society tells us to be self sufficient and not to rely on others or a higher power. We have tried to do it on our own; so when we face trouble, we do not turn to Him, instead we worry. He wants a personal relationship with us. When we seek Him because we want to, He will reveal Himself in many different ways. He loves us so much, He sent His only Son to die for our sins, we should not hesitate to pursue Him with joy.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I hope I can love you as much as you love me. Thank you for that love. I pray Lord that my life becomes a testimony of that love and mercy. Help me remember what you have done for me. Reveal in my everyday life, that you are there in every way. I promise to pursue you wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”