Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment…
What is so special about this verse? What is it really telling us and what does it really mean to love God with heart, soul and mind?
In short, heart expresses our ’emotions’, soul represents our ‘will’ and mind — obviously our logical thoughts which takes decision – our ‘mind’ !!!
So what? What is the role of these three in our devotion to our Lord?
God demands of us our whole being in devotion as we approach him. It should be our complete expression of love where our heart, mind and soul are synchronized … as David in his psalm says… everything within me, praise the Lord.
Faith in Christ Jesus is not a ‘blind faith’ unlike many other faith systems where we put trust in rituals and traditions without knowing what lies behind and who started them and what is the purpose of what we do. God calls us to know that he is God. We read his word, we are convinced by his reasoning given in his word and then we do believe. Therefore it is easy and reasonable for a scientific and critic mind like mine to explore and then believe in Christ then in any other power. God is not a power, he is God who created us in his own image and therefore by our mind we can know him and therefore bow down to his authority and love.
Bible is the only religious book which has gone through tremendous scrutiny and testing and eventually come victorious confirming that IT IS THE WORD OF GOD. There are several physical evidences which prove the validity of the Bible as historical record of how and what God did in the history. All this we can know by our mind.
Likewise, our ‘will’ is also required to submit in the divine love of God. Unless we willfully surrender to the authority of God, it is not that submission which can bring salvation. Salvation is by faith, our willful trust and belief in the Word of God, in the son-ship of Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, human life, sacrifice on the cross in terms of death as atonement of our sins, his resurrection and full Godhood. Unless we consider Christ as Lord willfully it is like a condition of a girl who knows a man intellectually that he is the perfect match for her yet did not submit herself in the matrimonial ceremony as a gesture of surrender and relationship. Unless they get married willfully, she does not have a right to be called ‘wife’, and unless we love God willfully, we are not his disciples.
The third and important part is emotions.
Generally speaking, emotions are deceiving and therefore we don’t trust in God based on our emotions. We learnt a definition in Life Builders course by CCC that Faith is choosing to live as though Bible is true (which it is) regardless of our emotions, circumstances or cultural trends. How true this is – our emotions many times works contrary to the expressed will of God, how often it refuses to trust in God because it looks at the present circumstances. For example, a couple who could not produce a child for several years and finally had a medical check-up to report that they are physically incompetent of producing children, they become discouraged and would not believe in God, while intellectually they may know that God is able to do all things.
Nonetheless, God mentions ‘heart’ – it has a reason. There is one emotion without which our mind and soul cannot love. That is the emotion of LOVE. For trusting in God, we don’t depend on emotions, but to love him, our heart must be prepared and surrendered to him completely.
I am persuaded to believe that because you are reading this article to the end, you definitely love God and long to understand more of his love – the depth and height, the length and breadth of his love. Just do one thing – ask more of the fulness of the Holy Spirit who will magnify more and more of Jesus in your life and as much as you will see the face of Jesus, you will love him more.
Dear Holy Spirit, I want to love God with all my heart, soul and mind and therefore I surrender my mind, my will and my emotions to you. Let none of them deceive me but they be in full control of you so that I may see Jesus more and love my God in the same way as I am expected to. Thank you. Amen