Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart? Is it even possible to love with all of your heart? What does that even mean? Let’s explore this together.
The heart is seen as a place of conception for many things in our lives. Love, emotions and actions all can begin in the heart. We can literally feel warmth in our heart when something good reaches far enough into our soul. Our heart can beat fast when we’re scared, angry or excited. We say that our heart should guide us.
Wait. Guided by our heart?! Isn’t it our brain that controls movements, thoughts and draws from experience to make good decisions? Then why on earth would we allow our heart to be our guide?
Our heart is the beginning of things that are mostly intangible. If you haven’t read the article on Christian Living, I would suggest that. Things happen in the heart that the mind cannot conceive, much less make sense of. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, you must act in a way that contradicts many things around you.
The Distractions and Lies
You cannot get away from influence. I know that because even in this article I am trying to influence you. I want to make you see that you must press against distractions in your life that want to take the place of God in your heart. You may not already believe that or feel it’s important, therefore I am trying to influence you to believe it is important enough that you would adopt it as your own belief. That is influence. Here are some of the influences you will experience that take the place of God in your heart.
Influence to an Action or Pattern
Do you know what advertising really is? It’s an attempt to change your actions or patterns in life. It attempts to break the trajectory you were on in order to direct you in a new one that is more beneficial to the advertiser. Notice it is to the benefit of the adveriser. Always drink a certain soda? — then it’s time to switch. Always use a certain brand of makeup? — then it’s time see one that gives longer lasting and better coverage. Happy with what you already have? — You’re crazy, it’s because you haven’t yet seen that product x exists. Now that you know what you are missing out on, it’s time to focus your attention to what you are missing in life.
Influence to a Method of Thinking
Have you ever watched that one unbiased news channel? No? Maybe you haven’t because it doesn’t exist. Everyone knows the news is biased and they are OK with that, as long as they are watching the one that matches their view point. Do you find it easy to converse with someone about a topic regarding ideologies when you do not agree? The first part of influencing to a certain method of thinking is to actually change the persons view point. That is not enough though. Influence to a method of thinking makes sure that the new believer expends energy protecting that view point. What this influence leads you too is finding yourself caught up in focusing on things that are relatively unimportant to God, or you find yourself tirelessly protecting the proper view of God. God’s ideals need to be observed within us yet they do not need to be defended by us. We simply take action where God has told us to take action and let the rest just be living out his ideals.
Influence to Individuality
There is no greater assault on loving the Lord your God with all your heart then to convince someone to love them self with all of the their heart. If you don’t believe that the modern day push for individuality is not directly tied to teaching people to love themselves, then you need to take a closer look. Listen to a few of these slogans that go along with the individuality movement.
“Do whatever feels right to you”
“Don’t let anyone tell you to change”
“You can do anything you set your mind to”
The fact of the matter is God has set a standard. We can tirelessly look to find somewhere in the Bible that states his standard is unimportant, but we won’t. You can believe that the creator of the universe wired everything the way he did for a reason and stick to it, or you can believe that the you can become the God of your own life and suddenly everything you want you can have. You don’t need a higher power anymore. Except what happens when other people being the God of their own lives interferes with yours? Who solves that dilemma?
How to Love the Lord Your God With All Your Heart
The truth is, it’s simple. You need to learn to recognize the influences in your life that take your focus off of God. Those things are trying to capture your attention through objects, thoughts and power. In the midst of an impatient society, we want the best now. God says the best is later, when you are in eternity with him. So why let the distractions lead us away? It’s not that we actually want to be distracted but that we let the influences remain. We still watch TV. We still listen to music we don’t agree with. We still want to make ourselves powerful. We still want ultimate control.
When you keep the influences around that match our sinful desires, then you will be distracted from giving your whole heart to God. You will give in. When you choose not to give the negative influences a chance, then you will be free to let your heart be completely available for the creator.
As stated earlier, the heart is where the intangible happens. Loving God, who can be viewed as intangible in our every day lives, doesn’t seem to make sense. Once the negative influences around you begin to tell you that, it will be hard to remember why you first loved him. What if the influences around you started to say it doesn’t make sense to love your kids? They need so much attention, they can’t make it on their own, and they rarely contribute back. You know the amazing ways a relationship with your children makes your life better. However, a repeating influence of the opposite view could change your own view. As long as it promises something more tangible and more prompt, you will probably begin leaning towards it.
So what to do in basic terms? Do not let negative influences have repeated chances to change your mind as they promise short term, more fulfilling benefits.
When you first believed, you probably wanted to love the Lord your God with all your heart. Go back to that. Back to before the influences changed you and made you numb.