The word is very nigh unto thee …
Do you ever find it easier to obey God’s laws than to yield your heart to Him; that it’s easier to perform for Him than to love Him? Do you ever feel that this is an unattainable goal? And yet, this is Christ’s greatest commandment, isn’t it? In Matthew 22:37-38, Christ commands us to :
“love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
When you read these words, how do you feel? Inadequate, like you’re failing, as if this is impossible? I think many of us feel this way, but this is because we have an incorrect view of our role in this commandment and what God is asking us to do. A few months ago, I was reading through the Old Testament in my daily quiet times and I ran across the following passage in Deuteronomy 30:10:
“If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.”
There it is again, I thought. The command to love the Lord in this way is common in the Old Testament. But it’s also one that I find so difficult. I remember a conversation with a friend of mine where I tried to explain to her that I found it so much easier most days to obey God‘s laws, than to actually submit my life to Him. Soon after that conversation, I read these verses. What was different during this reading, though, were the verses that followed this Great Commandment (Deuteronomy 30:11-15):
“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”
This is not an unattainable goal! We can love God this way, because HIS word dwells in our hearts! As long as we continue to place HIS words in our hearts, God can use them to teach us to love Him. It is not about us working so hard, but allowing God to work in us! Pray that God would fill you up to bursting with His Word, His Spirit, and His Will, that you may love Him and live for Him completely.