Monday, March 12, 2012

Loving, Walking, and Holding Fast: Part 1


"For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all His ways, and holding fast to Him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations mightier and greater than yourselves."
Deuteronomy 11:22-23

Dear sisters in Christ, 
The Lord Almighty yearns to set you free.  He longs for you to experience Him.  He longs for you to understand His plan and will for your life and live life to its full.  He desires for you to know how precious and beloved you, His daughter, are to Him.  He wants to drive out all your fears and guide you through the problems that you feel are mightier and bigger than yourself.  He is willing and fully able to overcome all obstacles you face.
But He does not want to do this for you as if you are a robot who is incapable of communicating with Him.  No, He wants more than that; He wants a relationship where He's involved in every aspect of your life - from day to day existence to monumental experiences.  He wants your cooperation so that you can learn and get the most out of your life.  He wants this relationship to flourish and wants to expand your heart and mind so that you might taste and see how good He is.

In this relationship we enter into, we need to obey our Master.  In Deuteronomy, the LORD told the Israelites some things to do so that He would drive out the nations before them.  Even though God gave these commands long ago, they are still important today because they still are expressions of God's heart.  The commands He gave are this: to love the Lord your God,  to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him.

What does it mean to love the Lord our God?
In Deuteronomy 6:5 the LORD commands His people to "... love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."  I am currently taking a Becoming Women of Excellence class where we talked about what loving God with these means.  

First, loving God with all our heart means loving Him with all our emotions.  
Considering the roller coaster our emotions frequently seem to be on, you might think that sounds quite difficult.  But, loving God with our emotions isn't about feeling like we love Him.  Love is not a feeling, it's a choice.  When we choose to love God with our emotions, we are choosing to surrender to God every emotion: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Instead of dwelling on our sinful, negative emotions, we surrender them and have all aligned with His truth.  Continually choosing to love God by surrendering all of our emotions to Him brings us into deeper fellowship with Him.  In addition, loving God with all your heart means that choosing to put His will above yours.  This means that your dreams, plans, goals, and agenda all become secondary to His will.  You trust Him enough to let Him control each step you take, thereby letting Him control the path of your life.  Loving God with all your heart means that each day, out of loving surrender, you give Him your emotions and put His will above yours.

Next,we need to love the LORD our God with all our soul.  
My Becoming Women of Excellence teacher defined our soul as our personality.  So, we must love God with who we are, our personalities.  He maybe gave you the personality trait of a sweet spirit, natural people skills, or thoughtfulness.  We must use these God created qualities for His glory by unconditionally obeying Him.  No matter what your fleshly desires and selfish ambitions tells you, you must do what God calls you to do.  He may urge you to use your friendliness to reach out to the girl all alone at youth group.  Through your obedience of going and talking to her, you will be showing Him you love Him by using your personality in this way.  Doing this requires you to trust and surrender to God and use all that God created in you not for your glory, but to be a shining example of Christ.

Finally, this verse commands us to love the LORD with all our might.  
An ESV Study Bible note defines might as indicating energy and ability.  In everything that we do with our God given ability and energy, we must honor Him by doing it simply because we love Him.  For Colossians 3:23 tells us: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters ..."  We shouldn't do things to get praise for ourselves but only for our Savior.  Basically, loving God with our might means that all we do must stem from our devoted love of God.  

In conclusion, loving God is an exciting learning experience that is much more than a feeling.  It means surrendering our emotions and aligning them with truth, putting God's will above ours, being faithful to use how God created us for His glory, and doing all out of love for Him.

Tidbits for thought:
  • What emotions do you need to continually surrender to God and have aligned by truth?
  • Are you daily putting His will above your own?
  • Do you each day, out of loving surrender, you give Him your hopes and fears and let His love fill your given-to-Him heart?
  • Are you following God's instructions?
  • Are you doing all out of devoted love to your Savior?
Part 2 will go further into the verse and discuss what it means to walk in all God's ways.
Love Him with your all,
Deborah


 © 2012 Deborah Hope Shining

1 comment:

I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?

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