Loving Him is the key that opens the gates within us. If there is ONE THING in our lives that IS NEEDED, it is to learn to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind. No wonder Jesus said it is the FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT!
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21 (NKJV)
So what does it mean to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind?
According to Scripture, the heart is the innermost center of the natural condition of man. It denotes the center of all physical and spiritual life. The term soul specifies that in the immaterial part of man that concerns life, action, and emotion. The mind is the faculty of understanding, thought, and imagination.
Well I guess that about covers every part of our being. He alone is to be the center of focus of our spiritual life. Our thoughts and imagination must be under His Lordship. Our will is to give way to His will. Our emotions must be brought under the control of His Spirit.
Because selfishness is nonexistent in the God kind of love, it’s a good indicator of a lack of love. Do our thoughts center around self? Is our will self-motivated? Are our emotions self-preserving? Even our spiritual life can be self-motivated and center on self.
Years ago, my family and I were traveling out of town on vacation. My husband was driving and our girls were in the back sleeping. I had been reading the Word and was spending some time in thoughtful meditation upon what I had been reading. I was thinking about walking in the fullness of what I knew the Lord has for me to walk in, and I asked Him, “How do I get to that place?” (When I say “that place” I do not mean achieving a ministry position or a level of recognition, I mean walking in the fullness of the gifts and calling in the power of His Spirit.) The Lord spoke to me and said, “Lose your life.” My mind went to the many scriptural references that mentioned this, confirming what I was hearing.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt. 10:39 (NIV) Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33; John 12:25
Then I asked the Lord, “Yes, but how do I walk that out in everyday life?” All He said was, “Walk in LOVE.”
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 6 (NIV)
To tell you the truth, that answer kind of caught me off guard. I was expecting to be told of sacrifices to be made, a time of fasting, or some other great revelation that would be the key to unlock this door. This answer seemed too simple, too impotent to bring about the glorious transformation, manifestation and demonstration I was seeking. But as I meditated on it, and searched the Word, oh how wrong I was. I found, according to Scripture, this is the VERY KEY to unleash all that He is in us and through us!
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Eph. 5:1-2 (NKJV)
The word for imitator in Greek is mimetes, and is the same word where we get our English word mimic. What this verse is saying, is that as children mimic their parents and learn to be like them as they grow up, so we as children of the Most High God are to mimic and imitate Him as we grow up to be like Him. And how does this verse say we are to imitate or mimic Him? By walking in love.
“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Matt 22:37-40 (NIV)
Jesus said that on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. In loving God with all of our heart, mind and soul, and walking in love towards man, we will be doing what He requires and those things that please Him, with right motivations. We will move progressively on in His purpose and plan for our lives as we walk in inspiration, not the perspiration of striving in the flesh.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)
Because God is love, that love must have an expression. In order for love to be expressed to the fullest, there must be an object of that affection. The God kind of love, is selfless, and must be expressed outward towards another. And so as the love of God is manifested in and through us, this current must flow outward towards others.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-THAT you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:17-19 (NIV)
Interesting! We only have the power to grasp the fullness of the love of Christ WITH the saints! Love must be expressed. This is a “together with all the saints” thing. THIS is the prerequisite to being “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” We can cry out, sing out, and pray all we want for His fullness, but unless we allow His love to be rooted and grounded in us, and be expressed and released through us, it will not and cannot happen.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (NKJV)