Have you ever been overwhelmed by all of the things that people tell you are vital to your faith? Does it sometime seem like there are a thousand hoops to jump through and endless ladders to climb if you want to get to God?
When it comes to walking with God, there is so much to talk about. And we are often guilty, in the church, of making it so complicated. Sometimes, it can just seem a little overwhelming. And this can cause us to ask, “How do I keep it simple? What’s a super basic thing I can focus on if I want to get it right?”
This is what the Bible would say: love. There are few things so universal and yet so challenging. Love for God. “The most important” commandment, says Jesus (Mark 12:29–30), and one that both the old and new covenants portray as necessary to enjoy God’s sustained favor.
In Deuteronomy 6, God points out that one of the most basic things about walking with him is loving him with every part of who we are. He says something very interesting, however, after commanding us to love him with all of our heart and all of our mind; he says this:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your…might.” Deuteronomy 6:5
But what exactly does that mean? What does it mean to love God with all our might?
The word translated “might” or “strength” in Deuteronomy 6:5 usually functions as the adverb “very” in the Old Testament. The noun version occurs in Deuteronomy and in only one other place, which itself is just an echo of our passage. In 2 Kings 23:25 we are told that King Josiah “turned to Yahweh with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might.”
So if the word usually means “very,” what would it mean to love the Lord will all our “very-ness”? Interestingly, the Greek translation of this word is “power.” The Aramaic translation is “wealth.” Both of these may actually be pointing in the same direction, for the strength of a person is not simply who he is, but what he has at his disposal. Think with me: If Moses’ call to love God starts with our heart and then moves out to our being, could not our “very-ness” be one step bigger and include all our resources?
This means that the call to love God is not only with our physical muscle, but with everything we have available for honoring God – which includes our spouse, our children, our house or dorm room, our pets and wardrobe and tools and cell phones and movies and music and computers and time and money.
We are called to love God with the things that make us strong and with the things we have at our disposal. We are to love him with our accomplishments, our influence and all of our tangible capacities. I like to look at it this way: What am I good at? What is my strength? What do I have going for me? Money, abilities, influence, talents, time? What am I capable of?
What does this look like in everyday life?
Here are 4 practical ways to begin loving God with all of your might:
Make a list. Write down the top 10 things that you have “going for you”.
Identify. Are you loving God with these things? Do they point to Jesus? Would a complete stranger be able to see it?
Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit! Jesus told us very clearly: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. …He will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak…” (John 16:7, 13) Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to love God with these things. Ask him to remind you to keep loving God with your everything in the day to day, throughout your life.
Love him. Love him by using the money he has given you for his glory. Love him by raising your children as unto him. Love him by spending your time and your energy listening to him, praising him, thanking him and obeying him. Love him with your ability to throw awesome parties. Love him with your ability to paint, sew, and write. Love him with your influence in the workplace. Love him with your ability to see into people’s lives and encourage them. Love him with the talents that you possess. Love him with your gift of teaching, with your gift of serving, with your gift of encouragement. Love him with your relationships.
We always have a choice. Choose to love him. Be a light in the world. When all of our might and strength are being used to love God, we will look more like Jesus. Our strengths and might will actually be loving God.
And as always: Be authentic. Give hope.
(P.S. Today’s post was actually a selection of my new 30-day devotional called, Walking With God. I would love for you to check it out. I really believe that it could be one of the things that helps you to walk even closer to God than ever before. Check it out on Amazon right here.)