Give God Your Whole Heart
The purpose of the greatest commandment...
If your spouse or child were to turn to you and say that they love you with all their heart, would you really turn to them and say that is not possible? So why do some Christians say in their heart to God that His commandment to love Him with all their heart cannot truly be kept, when they should love God more than their spouse or child?
"'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?'
Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'" (Matthew 22:36-40).
What am I getting at?
There are those who claim to follow Christ, and even some who have big followings, who make the claim that we cannot truly love God with all our heart, as Jesus was the only one capable of fulfilling this command in the truest of senses, and because Jesus was the one who did this, if we are to put our faith in Him, that we receive the fulfillment of this commandment based on what He has done for us. Do not get me wrong. I'm not saying that these people who say they follow Christ, and also those with big followings who make this claim aren't actually fulfilling this commandment, but they teach as if they cannot.
Is this really the case? Is this consistent with all the scriptures?
So when God tells Jeremiah,
"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
Does this mean that Jeremiah cannot truly find God because he cannot do anything towards God with all his heart?
How about these verses from Psalms 119?
"Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways" (Psalm 119:2-3).
"How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:9:11).
"Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it" (Psalm 119:33-35).
I think the mistake here is how we interpret loving God with "all our heart". Not that it is meant to be taken in a literal sense where we will never make a mistake by sinning again, but rather a poetic expression that is known in the Spirit. That we are constantly drawn to His word, commandments, and testimonies so that we may become a vessel that He deserves, and is truly the best thing for us, to live according to the only one who is good.
The danger of misinterpreting this greatest commandment to love the Lord with all our heart is that it may give leverage to the devil, for the purpose behind keeping this commandment is so that it may fulfill all the lesser beneath it.
If you love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, you will love your neighbor as yourself; you will not practice lying, stealing, fornicating, drunkenness, sexual immorality, greed, covetousness, unforgiveness, bitterness, dishonoring your parents, being proud, boastful, idolatry, and so forth. But if you allow that greatest commandment to be degraded in your heart, then you have created for yourself a way to have an excuse before God that is not justifiable.
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:9).
So what is Jesus saying here? He is saying there is a threshold. In other words, if we are to break a greater of the least of the commandments and teach others to do so, will we be in the kingdom of God if breaking the least of them and teaching others to do so will get us in as the least?
So for someone to teach that we cannot keep the greatest commandment, where does that leave them with God?
Think about anything or anyone in your life where you were absolutely obsessed with and gave all your heart towards diligently seeking. How much more the author of life who made it all? The treasure of treasures. In this life, the things we chase, they fade away or get old, but with God, all things are possible, and He is an endless treasure of peace, happiness and joy, never getting old.
The goodness of the things of this world, of all the creation of God, are meant to draw us to the one who made it all, rather than to spoil ourselves in our sins.
The only reason why we enjoy anything in life at all is because God is good.
"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 10:37-39).
Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).