Let’s finish this 3 part series of loving God with our whole body. In Deut. 6:5 God says (then later in the New Testament, Matt. 22:37, Luke 10:27, Mark 12:30, Jesus also says) to love Him with all your heart.
He is not speaking of our physical heart, but our innermost being. When we examine scripture, we see that the innermost part of us is also called our spirit. This is where our spiritual understanding, thoughts, feelings, and emotions come from.
So what does it look like to love him with all of our heart/spirit? Here are a few thoughts. First, we must learn how to listen to and recognize the Holy Spirit when He speaks to our hearts. This is an example Jesus used about recognizing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
John 10:2-5The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
Make sure you are familiar with the Bible so that you can recognize the Father’s voice. We can easily be deceived just as Eve was, and can misinterpret what the Holy Spirit is saying if we do not know the Word of God.
We also must learn and draw value from our spirit, not ignore what is going on “in there”.
Often we have emotions and ignore them. Since they originate from our spirit, there is so much value to these emotions. It is very helpful to write in a journal all of the emotions we feel and then ask ourselves, “What is it that God wants me to learn from this?”.
Another area to love God with our spirit is to watch and be careful with other people’s spirit as they are His children. Proverbs 17:22 says: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
We need to learn to be careful and watch the countenance of people we speak to and be aware of how our words affect them. Do we cause people to feel cheerful or broken? The Bible says much about this, but here are a few verses to think on about this subject:
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the maturebody of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and it is those things that make a person unclean.
Matthew 12:36-37 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will becondemned.
We are instructed to be honest and share our heart/spirit with one another, but it does say to speak it in love because we need to be mature like Christ. Sometimes, our spirit is in a really bad place and out of that bad place comes words that are not kind. Let me encourage you to try to let Christ lead you and speak in a way that cares for the other person’s spirit.
Last area I would like to share with you is on the area of worship. Our spirit can really love God when we spend time worshiping Him.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.