When I learn something significant or a truth hits me in a new way, especially when it pertains to knowledge of God or spiritual life, it can feel like an earth-shaking moment. Has that ever happened to you?
Today, I want to share with you one such discovery I made some years ago, that impacted my life for the better as it pertains to my pursuit of loving God more fully. The truth is one that was hidden in plain sight, right there in Jesus’ telling of the most important commandment:
“And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'” – Matthew 22:37
The key word I am highlighting, and the main point of this post, is Jesus’ instruction to love God with all your MIND.
It’s easy to blast past that without thinking about it. But to do so, would, ironically, be disobeying the command in the verse.
The light bulb came on in my mind when reading about that concept in some Bible study curriculum I was going through at the time. It suddenly became clear that it is inherent in the command to actively use my brain activity for God’s glory. That means:
- Thinking deeply about what I was reading, rather than just hurriedly skimming so I could “check off” my Bible reading for the day
- Doing more research to find solid answers to questions raised in the text of Scripture
- Being diligent to find answers to questions others asked about my faith if I didn’t immediately know (1 Peter 3:15)
- Dwelling on the Person of God and His attributes and works
- Taking time to pray thoughtfully, again, not rushing through it
- Thinking through each area of life, asking God to reveal sinful attitudes and actions I may be holding onto
- “Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). That is to say, going on the offense against stray evil thoughts (we all have them), and actively directing my mind back to “whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, worthy of praise” (paraphrase of Philippians 4:8)
There are also applications for life outside of strictly spiritual pursuits:
- Doing my best at work, and fighting against a wandering mind that negatively impacts productivity
- Refusing to engage in gossip about others
- Embracing complex, necessary tasks rather than avoiding them
- Thinking biblically about others, even those with whom I fiercely disagree. We are all made in God’s image (James 3:9)
- Even entertainment choices are subject to scrutiny. Is what I am watching, listening to, or reading helping my walk with God? Is it possible it is not helping or even hurting it?
When I began to think through all these things, it started to become clearer how much junk and sin gets in the way of obeying that command. It is a difficult truth, but its importance cannot be overstated.
Like so many important truths from Scripture, the light bulb coming on was just the beginning. Over the years, as God has mercifully continued working in my life, I’ve been able to flesh out the points above. I am not claiming that I do these things without fail. I certainly do not. But that is the wonderous blessing of sanctification. God continues to work in us throughout our lives. For that, I am most grateful and humbled.
If you have anything to add to my list of applications, please share a comment. Or any other questions or comments – I can’t wait to hear from you! My prayer is that this helps you in your walk with God in some way.
Thank you for reading this post!