Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Your mind is like a super-computer without an off switch. The saying, “garbage in, garbage out” applies to both computers and the human mind. Whatever we allow to dominate our mind will eventually show up in our actions.
In the book, Tom Holladay says, “Before you can do the right thing, you have to think the right thing.” This phrase makes a lot of sense. Philippians 4:8 talks about what we should think about. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things”
Every day our minds are hit by a barrage of negative influences, and there is no way to avoid them. God gave us the freedom to choose what we allow to dominate our minds, and whatever dominates, will become how we act. This is why it’s important to meditate on God’s word daily. Starting your day with a devotional can give you something to think about throughout the day, and writing down what you learn can keep it fresh in your mind. No matter what influences you come across, you can still allow yourself to focus on what you learned that morning.
Once we have trained our mind to meditate on God’s word, we can turn it into actions. In any relationship you have to give it all you have. This is where the real work begins, and it will require strength of character, and conviction. Do we, as humans, have the strength to do the work on our own? No.
Let me explain. When we try to do something on our own, we are easily distracted with our everyday lives; with paying bills, going to work, raising kids, going to school (and the list continues). If we are to give a loving relationship with God the attention it deserves, we can only do it with the kind of strength that God can give.
We were created by God to have a relationship with him, and he has done everything to prove to us that he is worthy of that love. He even sent his only son to die for that relationship, and we owe it to him to give it everything we have. He is the source of life, love, and strength. Without him we wouldn’t exist, so it goes without saying that if we trust God for our strength, our relationship with him will be healthy, productive, and the greatest source of joy in our lives.
Putting it all together, to have a loving relationship with God, we must first feel it in our hearts. Then we must decide to love him with our soul. After that we must think it with our minds. Finally, we must trust God to give us the strength to put it into action. God wants our relationship with him to succeed, and he is willing to give us the strength we need to make it work. All we have to do is accept it.
Challenge: Learn to meditate on God’s word, and accept his offer of strength, so that you can put him first in both thought and action.