THIS WEEK: LOVE God! How?
It’s not just the organ God created to pump blood through your body.
Your heart is the seat of your inner desires.
Love … “with all your heart” is to align all the deep desires of your inner being to the things the Lord desires.
The Apostle Paul captures what this looks like in his second letter to Timothy:
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
To love the Lord with all my heart is to first FLEE from the evil desires promoted by my sinful nature. What are those desires? Jesus teaches in Mark 7:21-22:
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside …”
When my heart is captivated by desires for things other than the LORD and his desires, it leads me away from the LORD. My heart can’t be set on worldly treasures and heavenly treasures at the same time. My heart can’t be desiring evil on someone else while also desiring to forgive as I have been forgiven. My heart can’t be filled with pride and arrogance and also desire to be humble before the LORD and before others.
Go through the list above. Which one or two are desires with which Satan regularly tempts you?
Like King David, we have to repent and say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Only God’s Spirit changes the desires of our heart away from our sinful nature to desire fully the things of God. As the prophet Ezekiel said of God (36:26-27):
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
What does a heart filled with God’s Spirit desire?
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,…(Luke 6:43-45)
What does that fruit look like? What does a heart filled with the Spirit desire?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)
To love the LORD your God with all your heart, is to have a heart filled with the Spirit, turned away from evil desires, and desiring to love all the things God loves and produce all the fruit the Spirit desires to be produced.
Apply: Reflect on what your heart desires. Are those desires driven by your sinful nature or the Spirit of God? Repent of evil desires and ask for a renewed measure of God’s Spirit to “Create in you a new heart” that fully is devoted to the things that God desires.
Prayer: Lord our God, forgive me for the desires that feed my sinful nature. Restore me by your Spirit and fill my heart with a renewed desire for all the things you desire. AMEN.