Loving God with everything that we are
"Jesus replied: 'The most important one is this: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'" -- Mark 12:29-30
This is what we are created for.
Summed up in two verses, Jesus tells us what our lives are all about: love. He's not talking about some cheap, watered-down version of love this world tries to distract us with, but about a love that demands everything we are: heart, soul, mind and strength. A love that consumes us, that asks us to lay everything down in reckless abandon. A love that satisfies the deepest longings of our heart and touches the place in our soul nothing else can ever seem to reach.
The world does a great job telling us loving God like this isn't what we want, that it's not really practical these days, or that we can find this kind of fulfillment in some other way. Our flesh is fine with this and fights against loving God because it is enslaved to the attractions of this world.
But we are not the world's -- we are God's. The creator of the universe breathed us into being because he longed to be with us forever. We have to take God at his word, trusting his love for us and what he says will bring us the most happiness.
Loving God with all our heart means letting him see who we are and seeking his heart. We love him with all of our soul by yearning for him.
We love him with all our mind when we actively take each thought captive, giving it to him, and allowing him to make our thought lives his dwelling place. We can love him with all of our strength by fully relying on him and treating our bodies as temples of his Holy Spirit. In all of this, we already have victory through Jesus.
Jesus says that God -- our God -- is the only Lord. He is the only one worthy of our complete adoration, the only one who can pour fulfillment, grace and perfect love back into us as we pour everything we are into him. Anything that gets in the way of loving this God with all our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical power is an idol.
The beautiful thing is that when we ask him, God gently shows us the places in our lives where we aren't loving him with everything we are. He gives us the courage to give these places to him and faithfully walks with us, ready to show us we need to rely on him with all our strength to be able to love him with all we are. When we fail, he is always ready to show us that he is our help and strength.
We are created for God alone. It's only through realizing this that we are set free to truly love ourselves and others. It's through living this realization that our hearts will be truly delighted.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.