TO LOVE THE LORD WITH
ALL YOUR HEART
By Dan Luehrs
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart” (Deut 6:5-6 NAS).
The heart of man is an amazing thing, both physically and spiritually. We all know that the physical heart pumps thousands of times a day so that we might have blood moving through our body to bring nutrition to each cell. This is how we stay alive to live a healthy life, but if the heart is not pumping one hundred percent of the blood that the body needs for nutrition we will suffer in some way. The heart was made to supply all that the body needs to work correctly. But how many times have we heard of someone that was seemly healthy fall dead because of heart failure, whether they were young or old because there was something wrong with their heart, but they did not even know it? The same is true with the spiritual heart!
God gave man a spiritual heart that is far more important than the physical heart because we will have it forever and that is who we are and out of the spiritual heart the very life and presence of God is to flow for all eternity. Our spiritual heart is not only to give us spiritual life and strength, but we are to give life to others through our relationship with the presence of God. Yet many, if not most Christians live with a faulty heart because it is not functioning one hundred percent because they are not loving the Lord their God with all of their heart.
God has made an amazing place for Himself inside of every person; we can call it our spirit man or just the heart of man, He created this on the day of creation. “In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God” (Gen 5:1 NAS). This means that our spirit man has the capacity of carrying the full likeness of God (He is spirit) within us. He wants to fill every person who has ever lived with the fullness of His life everyday, yet most will not even give Him the time of day because they love other things before Him.
How do we know that we love something with all of our heart? It’s by what we think about all day and whatever motivates us to seek after it when we have free time. It can be money, sports, fame, sex and the list could go on and on. Whatever it is of this world that we are seeking we will find and if it is not the Lord our God that we are seeking with all of our heart, it will only end in our downfall.
Israel was warned to seek and obey God with all of their heart; this was not a suggestion from God because He was egotistical. He said this because mankind can only function properly if they seek God and if they would not seek Him, then they would soon fall away and would go into the captivity of the enemy, it was for their protection. But even from the place of their captivity God would hear their cry if they would seek for Him with all of their heart. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul” (Deut 4:29-30 NAS). When God commands us to seek Him it is only for our good so that we will come to know Him more and have His joy and strength to fight against the evil one that would try to overcome us. There is no in-betweens in the spirit realm; there is either serving God or serving the devil. We make our choice everyday by what we are seeking after–seek God!
The words, “To the love the Lord with all our heart” is only used in Scripture with loving and seeking the Lord and not with anything else connected to this world. In fact we are told in 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” In other words we cannot love God with all our heart and love the things of the world at the same time. We hear many people say, “I love my car, house, job, New York City or anything else because most people do love everything, but God! We as sold out Christians cannot love anything with our whole heart but God, or it will become an idol that we put before the Lord. Does this mean that we cannot love our spouses and children with all our heart? The Bible is very clear about us loving our spouse and family, but it never tells us to seek them or to love them with our whole heart, because God has held this for Himself.
We must be very careful what we let into our heart. Jesus is knocking on everyone’s heart to have a closer relationship with us then we could ever fathom. But evil is also knocking on everyone’s heart to have an inlet to release evil in their life and in the earth. I have been saved some thirty years and I am first coming to understand how we can open and close our heart to letting people and things into it and out of it.
I bought a grandfather clock some years ago because I just enjoyed looking at its woodwork and craftsmanship until one day the Lord said to me, “Watch out what you love and let into your heart.” I then noticed that my heart was falling in love with this object until I closed it off. It is said in business that if the sales person can cause us to fall in love with whatever they are trying to sell us, they will have a sale. It’s called, “Closing the sale.” And if they can see that a person has fallen in love with the product they will sell it at a higher price and make more money. All because of love! Look in your own heart and the things around you and ask yourself what do I love more than God? Your answer will be found in what you are seeking.
The spiritual heart in man is a marvelous thing that we will be trying to understand throughout eternity. How an immeasurable God could possibly fill us with Himself and why He would want too? If we do not love the Lord with our whole heart we are in danger of allowing other things to sneak in and we will quickly turn away from the path of life that we are called to walk in. We must open our heart wide to the Lord each day as we sit in His presence and ask Him to fill and overflow us so that we will be much closer to Him through the reality of His presence. This is where many people struggle to find the presence of the Lord because they do not know how to come to God. They find it boring so they do not even try anymore because they feel like a failure or that God has rejected them.
God is not boring! Have you looked at the beautiful earth lately that God has created for us to live in? It certainly is not boring! So how much more beautiful can God be than His creation? We can only find out by seeking His presence daily, for in His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forever more. This is what people are looking for but only in the wrong places! I have had the privilege of traveling around the world and seeing His wonderful creation, but I can tell you truthfully that it does not even compare to spending time with Him in His presence. I cannot go back to the reality of the mountains or the beautiful white sand beaches of the earth at anytime, but I can seek the reality of His presence anywhere I am in the earth. God’s presence is true reality and until we learn this we will be seeking for reality in the things of the world that will one day be taken from us, even our loved ones maybe taken before us. Where or what will you go to if people or things have filled your heart and it was not God? This is why many people are devastated when things are taken away from them because God was not their all in all. But to those who have filled their heart with Jesus, He can never be taken away from them no matter what! “… For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say” "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me" (Heb 13:5-6 NKJV)?
HOW DO WE RECEIVE HIS DAILY STRENGTH?
The Holy Spirit is our lifeline and until we understand this we will continue to stumble. Think of yourself as a garden or just one flower in the garden that needs watering everyday, then you will begin to understand why you must have His presence everyday because He is your water of life. We have some potted flowers by our front door and everyday they need watering because they are in the sun and the stress causes the flowers to need watering. The stress of our lives wears us down and we must have down time to recuperate. We all need sleep and some recreational time for our body and mind, but what so few people consider is their spirit man that needs refreshing in God. Only spirit can refresh spirit, yet people continually look to everything but Him.
Just as it takes time for us to sleep eight hours a day to get our rest and how it takes time to make good nutritious meals, so it takes time for us to spend in the God’s presence to fully recuperate spiritually. The preparation of His atmosphere cannot be accomplished instantly, but takes time to learn how to walk in the spirit realm as it does for a child to walk in the natural, when he falls down he must get up and try again. Our spiritual sensitivity can only be developed through a continual seeking of the Lord’s presence. We need to put much value on the cultivation of abiding in the anointing daily in which His impartation can take place in us. We should take at least one hour a day a lone with God to strengthen ourselves in His Spirit. God does not need this, we do! God wants us to come to Him because we love Him and we should want to spend time with Him as we would with our best friend or spouse. That is how we seek God, that is how we get to know God as our best friend and He becomes more real to us than anything in this natural realm of the earth. But if we do not spend time in His presence daily we will soon lose the reality of His closeness and begin to lose our spiritual sight and live as if it does not exists because we are living through our natural understanding, not spiritual.
We are told in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart…” How can we trust in someone that we do not even know because we have not spent time with them? Let alone with all our heart! We must know the Lord if we are too let Him into our whole heart so that He may consume us with all that He is!
TO WALK WITH GOD
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col 2:6-7 KJV).
“You accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, so continue to live following him. You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God” (Col 2:6-7 Easy-to-Read Version).
These verses make it quite clear of our calling and destiny in Christ. The question is, will you come to Him, and will you give Him your time to get to know Him by walking with Him daily? Adam walked with God in the cool of the day; Enoch walked with God and came so close to Him that God took Him! Noah walked with God and God saved him and his family from the destruction of the earth. God is no respecter of persons; if He did it for one; He will do it for us if we too draw near to Him as these men did. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” The God of the universe wants to walk with you! If you have received Jesus as your Lord and savior He should be your best friend that you are walking with everyday and getting to know His voice and presence more. This is when the spirit world becomes more real to us than natural, because we have drawn near to God and He has drawn near to us and heaven meets earth through us.
Learning to walk with God is like learning to walk again, but this time you will be walking in the spirit realm with God. That may sound strange to you, but not as strange as it might seem, because we are first of all a spirit being that will live forever. And because of that we can walk in two realms at the same time, the spiritual and the earthly realm. God wants us to practice His presence wherever we are so that we might be receiving His strength and presence at all times. The shakings of the earth seem to be getting stronger everyday and people are becoming more aware of it and are beginning to worry and wonder what is happing to our earth. God must have a people that cannot be shaken in this earth because we have a kingdom within that cannot be shaken. We can tell where we are at in your relationship with Christ by how much we shake when the earthly realm is shaking.
“And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying," Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:26-28 NAS).
If we do not possess within ourselves the kingdom of God as the things of the earth are shaking, we will not be able to give away what we do not possess! The more we have of God by spending time in His presence the more we will have to give away. God wants His realm to become so much more real to us then the earthly realm so that we will want to come back to Him day after day and be changed into His likeness by beholding His glory. We are a heavenly people, it is our home, and we are to live out of this realm now to bring heaven to earth! We are the only hope for the earth that is now shaking uncontrollably and unless we get right with the creator we too will shake until we are no more. You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from him.
If we are going to make it through these times we must draw our life and strength from Him daily. If we are weak spiritually we will be weak in the natural, the spirit is always willing but the flesh is weak for it will only be God’s presence that will get us through that which is soon coming. When you sense His presence around you begin to breathe in His love and strength by just waiting on Him with patience and the joy of the Holy Spirit. Very soon one hour will not be long enough until you will want to go for many hours to fulfill your need of Him and the life that He is imparting to you. But it does not end there! God wants us to give His life away to others through our everyday conversations and acquaintances.
THE FIRE OF HIS LOVE
Most people know that God is love, but did you know that we are to become love also? If we walk with God everyday, Who is love, then we too should be becoming like Him! Right? How are you doing in your love walk with the Lord and with others? We must first love the Lord with all our heart before we can completely love others as they are, otherwise we will be judging them for not being perfect. “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1 NAS). In other words, if we do not have the love of God motivating us as believers we will just be making a bunch of noise that really helps no one. We become like those who we hang around with and as we are walking with the Lord and obeying Him we will become like Him little by little.
The eyes of Jesus are filled with the fire of love that will judge every person according to His love. “… His eyes were like a flame of fire” (Rev 1:14). And anything that is in us which is not of Him will be judged by Loves fire. Every act that we do, say, and are motivated by that is not of love will be judged by that same fire. For example; if you say one unkind word to someone or think hurtful thoughts towards them and do not repent before your judgment day it will be judged by Loves fire to cleanse you from it. One day I was cleaning a piece of gum off the sidewalk that someone unlovingly spit there because they were to lazy to put into the garbage can. I heard the Lord say to me, “This too would be judged by Loves fire on the person that selfishly spit it there.” That was kind of scary to me because I am almost fifty years old and I cannot imagine all the things I have done unlovingly. We are spirit beings like God and are transparent to Him and everything that we do, say, and think is recorded in our internal spiritual data base within us, and that which is not like Him will pass before His eyes of fire so that we are purified into His likeness.
As we walk closer to the flame, we become the flame ourselves so that we can put others on fire with the power of His love! My prayer is this, “That the fire of His love would so consume me until there is no selfishness left inside of me so that I am completely motivated by the fire of His love and not my own selfish gain.”
When I was a teenage boy at work I heard God speak to me for the first time very clearly. When I was in the men’s room and I picked up all the paper towels that were on the floor and were not mine. “God spoke to me and said, “If you will continue to do this I will bless your life.” I did not know what He meant by that then, but now I know that it was an unselfish act that got His attention so much so that He had to respond to the character of His love working through me, even though He is still working on many areas in my life. Please understand what I write here, God is looking for God! God is the only good in the entire universe and when He sees Himself in us He is very pleased and must respond to what He sees. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17 NKJV). God the Father was so well pleased with His Son because He was the complete image of His Father’s likeness. Jesus was able to say of Himself in John 8:29, “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” One day I hope I could utter such profound words in truth! Oh how He loves us, oh that we would love Him with our whole heart as He does us!
God not only wants us to know about His love, He wants us to experience His love beyond our knowledge of Him everyday through the embrace of His presence and the word of God. When we are in God’s manifest presence He is embracing us as if we were with Him face to face. For in His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forever more!
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19 NAS).
The depth of our understanding in these verses may never be fully understood in our lifetime; nevertheless our goal in life should be at least to try too! If man never tried to drill holes miles deep into the earths crust we would never have the oil we need to drive our cars. So God wants every believer to plumb His depths and to comprehend ALL that He has for us in this lifetime. If we never try, how will we know that we are able to do so?
Oil companies drill deep into the earth because they can make billions of dollars from every well they drill. But this is only temporary until that well runs dry and then they have to drill another one costing them millions. But when we plumb the depths of God’s love and receive all that He is we are given an eternal weight of glory that will be ours forever and ever and will not be taken away from us, nor will it ever run dry! “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NAS). This power that is working in us is the love of God which we are to know, the breadth and length and height and depth of.
This is why God allows us to go through the many trials of life so that we will come to know Him and His love that He has for us as He delivers us from our trials over and over. If God was just a sugar daddy that gave us everything we ever wanted and never had one battle in life to contend with, we would all be so arrogant and prideful that we would become like the devil himself! Thank God for our trials and tribulations that keep us humble, because those are the things that qualify you and me to receive the crown of glory that He has prepared for us. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12 NAS). We almost receive nothing that is substantial in our life unless we pay the price for it, whether it is earning money or many years spent to earn a degree. So why should God give us a crown of glory that will last forever if we are unwilling to pay the price of following Him and loving Him with all our being? The way is not easy and it never will be because that is the way God has made it! Now we must decide what is more important to us, this world that is passing away or the exceeding abundant greatness of our God to us. For He is faithful who has promised!
TO SEEK GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 'And I will be found by you…” (Jer 29:13-14 NAS).
Over and over God commands us to seek Him with all our heart on a daily basis; this is very elementary in our Christian faith. Yet we are told that most ministers in fulltime service only seek God for minutes a day, and how does this convey to the people that sit in the pews on Sunday morning? Lifeless sermons going into empty hearts! Our services should be an extension of what we had during the week as we sought the presence of the Lord in our own homes. We are all carriers of the glory of God and when we have been in the presence of Jesus privately that week, the glory of God should flow from us, His people into those that do not know Him or to them that just want a deeper walk with God.
Unless we are seeking God’s presence daily with all our heart, we do not truly love Him with all our heart! If we are in love with Him, He will continually be on our heart and we cannot wait until the next time we can be in His presence to seek His face. God is waiting for you, for His bride to come away with Him into the secret place of lovers. Will you not come?
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