“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV
According to Jesus, this is THE greatest commandment. As such it makes sense that we need to truly grasp what it means.
As I read this verse, I asked myself … why did Moses say to love God with:
(a) all my heart
(b) all my soul
(c) all my strength.
How does loving God with my heart differ from loving Him with my soul and my strength? It must be important or Moses wouldn’t have expounded on it.
In Deuteronomy 6 Moses is preparing the children of Israel to finally enter the promised land. Knowing their inclination to idolatry and rebellion he reminds them of three key mandates which in turn answer the question of ‘how do we love God with all our heart, soul and strength?’
Loving God with all my HEART is about loyalty: There is ONE God and He is a jealous God. God will not share His glory with false gods. Anything, or anyone, that is more important to us is an idol.
Loving God with all my SOUL is about obedience: Moses instructed the people to keep the commandments of God AND to pass them on from generation to generation. To love God is to obey God. This theme is seen repeatedly in the Word in both the Old and New Testaments. Our soul is comprised of our mind, will and emotions. To love God with all our soul we must “know him’, through experience/relationship, knowledge of His Word and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Loving God with all my STRENGTH is about perseverance: Possession of the Land required defeat of Israel’s enemies. To this day Israel has to fight for their land. While God is capable of wiping out our enemies with a single word, He knows we value what we struggle to obtain. Our dreams and visions are worth the fight! Never give up on God’s promise(s) to you.
Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to understand Your command to love You will all my heart, soul and strength. Help me to always love you with loyalty, obedience and perseverance.