And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
I have quoted this verse so many times that I have it memorized. Though I can quote it in seconds, recently I have meditated on this familiar verse. When I read “with all your mind,” I was surprised by the fact that I had somehow missed that point.
Though it is difficult, God calls us to love Him with our minds. Every single thing we do, as believers, is to be pleasing to our Father. When God gives us commands, we must sincerely examine our hearts. We have to ask questions like, “Am I loving God with all of my mind?”
God created us so well! We have the ability to think deeply and to comprehend difficult things. We can take in information from reading, listening and seeing. Our minds are so complex that we can’t even fully know it. Even though it is impossible to be aware of every little thought you think, you are responsible for loving God with all of your mind.
Think about your day. Have you intentionally looked into your mind to see what is going on in there? Did you recognize how many lies you were presented with, from your enemy today? Can you remember when your mind gravitated towards a sinful thought?
These are the questions I have been asking myself. The reality of my answers is shockingly disappointing. I believe many of us have done a poor job of loving God with our minds!
We serve a loving God, who has given us means of graces that can help us love Him with our minds. If you are like me, only knowing, without practicality, is not helpful. I need to have practical ways in doing the things of God. We are to work out the things that we know mentally. Even the best truths profit us nothing if they only remain as stored information within us.
READING THE BIBLE
Reading the Bible is a given! Christians know we need to spend time with God. We know that we are to read and become familiar with the Word of our Lord. However, with the business of life, we need to be reminded more often.
At times, I have found myself slowly getting used to missing quiet times of reading my Bible. In order for us to love God with all of our minds, we must have truth filled minds. The best way of getting the truth into our minds is by reading the very Word of God.
I have always been a reader. So, I have read many good and sound books about God and spiritual living. However, it has only been about a year since my mind changed to a new way of viewing reading. A friend of mine posted a picture of herself, with a coffee mug and an Elizabeth Elliot book (who’s writing I love).
Her caption is what caused me to question the way I thought of reading. She said something to the effect of “Such a nice Saturday to sit with a beloved sister in Christ and a cup of coffee.” I know it doesn’t sound very profound, but God uses even small things to cause big shifts in our perspective.
That is what happened when I read her caption. I had never thought of seeing my books as opportunities to sit and listen to the words of very wise men and women of God. My love for reading grew even more. I think this perspective can be helpful. When we sit and read the words of a wise believer, we are loving God with our mind.
God has given us the body of Christ, which is a sweet blessing. I love fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Meeting and listening to a sermon is a great way to become more Christ like in our minds. We get the opportunity to just sit and listen (and/or take notes, as I love to do).
Although we are to spend time with God daily, there is just something sweet about listening to the Word of God with each other. This is another way to love God with your mind. Sitting under the preaching of the Word gives your mind more helpful and encouraging things to think on.
All of the Bible reading, book reading, and sermons are often lost from our minds because we don’t actively think about them. Memorizing the Bible, and/or helpful quotes is a great way to love God with our minds. He even commanded us to do so.
"bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."
This is when the truths actually stick and effects the way we see and live. David Saxton said, “Deliberate meditation is really the foundation of a godly person’s thinking and Christian practice.” I couldn’t agree more!
We love God by guarding our minds. This is not going to happen naturally. We will have to be intentional. We will have to actually think about our thoughts! We will have to take ungodly thoughts captive, with the truths of God’s Word that we have filled our minds with. We must take note of what we are listening to.
Once you try to do this, you will see how hard it is to train your mind. If you have just let it have free reign, trying to love God with your mind will take time. God will help us if we ask Him to. It will only happen with the help of the Holy Spirit!
One of my most favorite quotes of all times is this one from A.W, Tozer,
“In a very real sense, no man can teach another; he can only aid him to teach himself…perception of ideas rather than the storing of them should be the aim of education. The mind should be an eye to see with rather than a bin to store facts in.”
We should use what we learn as a way of correcting the way we see and act. More and more information makes our vision better and better.
So, though we may seek to love God with all our minds, by reading, sermons, and meditation, it does not end there.
Those should correct the way we see, as we are conformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. Don’t just fill your mind with good things, in an attempt to love God with it. Also, let those good things change the way you see…and ultimately the way you live.
I want to read your thoughts, so comment below!
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