Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
Do you feel like you have heard that scripture a million times before? So did the Hebrew people because they had to recite this scripture multiple times a day in a prayer called the Shema.
I believe this is the hardest scripture in the Bible to truly live out on a day-to-day basis, and I believe few men truly live this way in every area of their life. The understanding in that culture was if you actually loved God with everything you had, then God will be Lord of your life, and He will be the centre of everything you do.
This is key to delighting yourself in the Lord. It means let your desires, satisfaction and pleasures come from God above all. It means you put Him first in your life and choose to live a life following His way and to seek first His kingdom.
This is so important because if you live this out practically, your life, actions and dreams will point to, reflect and glorify God. That is the understanding behind the Shema and being in the centre of His will. No matter what city you move to or what job you take, you are in the centre of God’s will when you choose to put Him first and love Him with everything you have. And your dreams, passions and goals will become Christ-centred, oriented and focused.
Many years ago, St. Augustine said, “Love God, and do whatever you please.”* Taken out of context, this can be dangerous. But what Augustine is saying is that when we focus on loving God, we remain in the centre of His will and can begin to pursue whatever dreams and goals He has placed within us.
I truly believe every dream can be used to glorify God when we are seeking Him first above everything else. I believe a dream to make money can be used to glorify God as we use our wealth to bless the poor or organisations that rely on donations to operate. I have heard young people saying they have a desire to be popular, which at first I felt was self-centred. But then I thought about that a little more. If you’re popular, you have influence. What if you used that popularity and influence to invite people to church or start a ministry at school?
Mike Gordon. *Homilies on the First Epistle of John, The Works of Saint Augustine, Homily #8 – Augustine of Hippo
Application: What desires and dreams can people see God through you and your actions? Not sure, what God-centred desires could people see God through you if you worked at it a little more?
Dig Deeper: Matthew 22:34-40
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