The greatest man who ever lived gave us the greatest command ever given that we might experience the greatest life ever offered. Jesus was once asked the hardest question anyone could be asked.
Then one of the scribes came … and asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:28-30)
This is the most stirring challenge Jesus ever gave us! To experience this love is true revival. Revival is when we start contending for the 1st commandment in our lives. It’s in waging war to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength that we overcome lust, anger, and fear. Here lies our place of true freedom.
Soul. Second, Jesus tells us to love Him with all of our soul. The soul is the residence of our identity. This is the place where we decide how we will evaluate ourselves: whether we are successful or not. The soul is our deeply held values of how we measure our self worth. Our world screams into our soul that our value is measured through popularity, power, and prestige. Jesus says something different.
Loving God with all of our soul is a process of renovation and redefinition of our value as a person. The new revolutionary identity of the Jesus disciple is to understand and experience the love of God at the core of our heart and soul. It is the renewing of our soul to believe that God’s love makes us valuable and we are cherished because of His amazing, all encompassing, love.
So few ever come to grasp this. So few Christians are able to love God with all of their soul because they’ve never experienced God’s love or felt it at the soulish level. It is the realm of the soul that shame and rejection resides. Shame can be defined as the fear of disconnection.
Shame can only be broken through vulnerability. Openness about our shame to trusted brothers and sisters, openness with Christ in prayer, and the power of confession is the first step in loving God with our soul. It’s only when we become vulnerable about shame in our life that we can begin to be set free from the negativity, bitterness, and deeply held frustration that characterizes most people.
On the Road,