Monday, May 6, 2013

All your soul...

Week 19:

Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

This week we move into what I believe is a more difficult and lesser practiced part of us when it comes to loving God. As westerners, I believe that we hold tight to the notion that if we cannot see something, touch something, measure something, and at times feel something, then something is not real. The soul is not a physical part of us; at least that we can see.

The soul is very difficult to understand and grasp. Human definitions do not do justice to defining the soul. The soul is what makes us unique versus the animal world. In my opinion, the soul is that place where the Spirit resides and connects us to God. How does one know that the Spirit exists? We see the work of the Spirit sometimes through what we feel, sometimes through physical occurrences, and sometimes through guided situations.

We have some understanding that the soul is what lives on for eternity after we die. However, I believe that as westerners, we understand little about the soul and the Spirit. In fact, in some ways, the western church has avoided teachings and acknowledgement of the Spirit for fear of being associated with New Age philosophies that steer away from the one true God. Because of that avoidance, we have missed out on the Spirit’s leading and a closer communion with God.

Throughout the New Testament, we read about “Spirit and truth” and the “Spirit of truth”. In those passages, the two are not separate. It is as if those two must be together in order to be complete. As we have pulled away from understanding the Spirit in a search for truth, we quite possibly have moved ourselves into unbalanced faith walk. At times I have become so focused on truth that I have lost touch with what the Spirit might be telling me about that truth.  

To love God with all my soul, I must pay attention to the Spirit and it’s leading. But what does that look like? A call to make a move in the Kingdom would be a nudge from the Spirit. That call from the Spirit is touching me at my soul. My soul is then connecting with both my heart and my mind. Afterward, my strength moves into action to carry out what the Spirit nudged me to do. If I do not love God with all my soul, I miss that opportunity.

Another part of the soul is its connection with the spirit world. Here I am reminded of Ephesians 6:12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” There is so much of the spiritual battle going on that we do not see yet our soul is connected to it. Yet, at times, we get a glimpse into that spiritual world. When we do witness that glimpse, and when we see God’s hand work in what we see, the Holy Spirit has led us in that moment.  

So, how do I love God with all my soul? First, I must pay attention to what the Spirit is doing. I need to acknowledge that much of the unexplained is the Spirit’s leading. Second, I need to strike a balance between the Spirit within me and my physical, emotional, and mental practice. Third, I need to recognize the work of the Spirit in other people. When I listen to others, I am training myself to see the Spirit’s work in their lives. At times, I will even point it out as I am witnessing the work. Finally, I must pray and get out of the way. I pray that God will reveal to me how His Spirit is working in my life. I pray that the Holy Spirit will nudge my heart and mind to act. Then, I must just “be” instead of trying to make things happen.    

I am sure there are many other ways to love God with all my soul. At this point in my journey, this is my starting point. I pray that your soul be filled with the Holy Spirit and that you may love God fully from this place.


1. What does it look like for you to love God with all your soul?
2. Explain a recent situation where you know the Spirit had worked for you in your life.
3. What part of this article’s definition of the soul do you agree with?
4. What part of this article’s definition of the soul do you disagree with?
5. How did Jesus love God with all his soul?
6. This week, pay attention to the Spirit and its leading. Write down what happens and how the Spirit showed up for you.

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