The Bible says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” #
Loving God with my heart has come the most natural to me. I’m a deep feeler.
Loving God with my mind became a meaningful part of our relationship as I found a home in books, podcasts and the storytelling of others.
I think it’s the loving God with my soul that is new.
I like what Jan Johnson writes, “When God becomes a constant companion, every corner of life is occupied by the sense of God’s presence.”
Turns out, intimacy with God is not [only] in facts and information and new things to ponder, but a soul that abides. It’s keeping open space, cultivating habits of silence and solitude, not crowding out the possibility of hearing God or being gifted a sense of tangible presence.
Jan goes on, “Active prayer wipes out the artificial separation of faith from everyday life and invites God into the cracks and crevices of our existence. Nothing we do is without the company of God.”
Maybe this is what it means to love God with my soul, to live a life with a desire that nothing is done without the company of God.
Knowing information about God is not the same as knowing God. I can know a lot about Him without knowing the tone of His voice or the expression on His face. And that’s what my soul was made for.
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely” (Psalm 16:8-9).
Following closely to my Shepherd, taking in His Words, trusting His leading, will give me all the knowledge and wisdom I need to live a faithful life.
Dallas Willard said, “No time is more profitably spent than that used to heighten the quality of an intimate walk with God.”
Maybe it’s adding our second daughter, increasing the amount of sounds and needs to my day, but I’m discovering how much my soul craves breathability to function well. I can’t fill every ‘free’ moment with noise and expect to flourish. I need time to let my mind wander; time to rest in the reality I’m not alone; time to turn my attention to a God always attentive to me. I know what it’s like to have a crowded, cluttered soul and I don’t like it. I used to ignore this distaste in favor of Christian content because I thought that was what He expected of me, to be occupied with spiritual information. Turns out, even Christian content can cause me to avoid the simple act of abiding.
Loving God with my whole self means loving Him with my soul, which means staying turned toward Him, preferring Him because He’s worthy of my attention… even if it means saying No to a ‘good thing.’