Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind
and with all your strength.
We talked last week about loving the Lord your God with all your heart. We read that if we love God, we will obey His commandments with our whole heart. We know that His commandments are for our good (Romans 8:23) and we can trust Him. As His children, we lovingly obey Him.
Now let's get to the next part of the verse.
2. Love the Lord your God with all your soul.
To love God with all your soul means to love him with all of your spiritual being. I don't often think of my spiritual being, but I do think of the battle that is taking place in the spirit realm all around me.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Since there is a battle for my soul, my spiritual being, I need to focus myself on God at all times. I need to trust Him for anything and everything that involves spiritual things. We know that Satan is the ultimate deceiver (Revelation 12:9). He is the father of lies(John 8:44). And we know that we are easily deceived.
But I fear, lest somehow,
as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness,
so your minds may be corrupted
from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3
So when new teachings are presented (books, blogs, quotes, articles, magazines, TV shows, celebrity religions), we need to be discerning. We need to compare everything against God's Word. We love God and we know that we can trust His word for everything.
So when people of a specific religion claim they are Christian and they seem like good, moral people, we need to look at their statements of faith. If they do not believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and that He is the only way we can be saved from our sins, then they are not true believers. We can only be saved by trusting in Jesus for our salvation. Works, good moral choices, living a good life, being kind to others, giving to and serving the poor and religious observances cannot save our souls.
We can only be saved by repenting of our sins (turning away from) and trusting in the death and resurrection of Christ for our salvation.
When we open our newspaper (does anyone get a real newspaper anymore except on Thanksgiving?), and we see they have printed our "future" based on when our birthday falls, we know this is deception and we should not even read it. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5:6).
How often do we say that something was "luck"? Or are we anxious and nervous about "bad luck" circumstances like a black cat crossing our path or Friday the 13ths? Knowing that God is Sovereign in all things, is there really any room for luck (either good or bad)? No. Knowing and loving God will give us peace and assurance in all life's circumstances.
So leave the salt on the table and off of the floor behind your right shoulder. When your nose is itching, just scratch it. Feel free to take the shortcut under the ladder. Know that it will all be ok for the next seven years if you accidentally break a mirror. Your financial security is in God's hands, not your own itchy palms.
When popular books denounce Biblical truths like hell, the judgment before God and true justice - we can know that this is false teaching (Luke 13:22-33). Any gospel that does not teach about heaven and hell being real places is a different gospel.
One blog that I have recently started reading that is full of wisdom and discernment relating to the spiritual deceptions of our time is the Sola Sisters blog. There are many small deceptions and half truths in our world today and the Sola Sisters spend a lot of time to research and shed God's light on these lies.
We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul. We are to obey His commandments with all our heart and we are to trust Him with all of our spiritual being.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
2 Samuel 22:31