How do we love God with all of our soul?
Last week as part of our Wholly Devoted series we looked at what it looks like to give our heart to God. This week we are going to take a look at loving God with our soul.
Being wholly devoted to God means we freely give all we are for all the He is!
I am married to my beautiful wife Bethany; we have three children together. I am committed to her and our marriage. When we said our vows, I committed myself to her in the good, bad, ugly and indifference of life. So, she rightly expects that my actions line up with my commitment to her. I also expect the same devotion from her as well. We are mutually devoted to each other which means she has not only my heart but also my emotions (as a man this was a hard one for me).
Putting emotional energy into my marriage means that I am responsible for putting work into my marriage through my emotions. It can mean that at times I am vulnerable to her or that I am emotionally available, especially when things get hard. I have to make an effort not to shut down emotionally.
In the way that a marriage relationship expects this type of devotion, God also expects this love in return for his commitment to us. He made the ultimate commitment to us in that he sent his son to die for us while we were yet sinners. If we accept his gift and enter into a relationship with him, we are to be wholly devoted to him as he is to us.
Jesus gave us a blueprint on how to do this in Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
And with all your soul!
The Greek word for soul is ψυχή (defined as “the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions.” Our emotions can betray us, and if we are not careful, they can lead us into a path that we were not meant to walk. Usually, our emotions go off of what “looks good” and “pleasurable.” Does that sound familiar? It should; it is the first thing that satan used to tempt Eve. Genesis 3:6 “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Adam and Eve were operating from an emotional (soul) point of view because it seemed good to them they ate.
If we are not careful we can do the same thing; our emotions can have us in a relationship, a job, a ministry that we shouldn’t be in. Causing us to respond in anger, resentment, become jealous, hateful, less joyful just because we allowed our soul to make the decision for us at that moment instead of our renewed spirit.
So how do we love God with all of our soul?
We submit our emotions, feelings, desires, affections, and aversions to wise counsel. Proverbs 12:15 says “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”
Key: Submit your emotions to wise counsel.
We must submit our emotions (soul) to wise counsel because our emotions can be deceitful. Allowing someone to speak into your life and give you counsel is the mark of a mature believer and one that is indeed wholly devoted to God.