A Disciples First Priority!
Some words carry so much weight. They deliver a huge punch when they are seen, read or heard. Some words are so powerful, we are told to be careful when and how we use them in our marriages. If we use these words too often, they can escalate a discussion into something much worse. In a marital discussion, words like “never” can come up. In a sentence it might come out like, “Well, you NEVER consider my needs.” Or, “You NEVER liked my mother.” That word “never” demands a lot of attention and will more than likely lead your “discussion” into a full blown argument. The word “always” can do the same thing as well.
NOTE: the point of this post is not a marital counseling, but I would encourage those who are married to be cautious of these types of words. I’m willing to bet communication in your marriage will improve.
Now onto my ultimate point. There is one of these words used in Scripture that must be dealt with if followers of Christ are going to make the leap from Christian to Disciple. It is a word that can slow even the most well intentioned of us down. It is a word that is consumes everything and leaves no room for wheeling and dealing with God. It is first found in the book of Deuteronomy in what is called, the Shema. The Shema is one verse, but overarches multiple verses. Deuteronomy 6:4 starts by saying, “Listen (Hear) O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” But the section continues in verse 5 by saying, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.”
Did you catch it? Did you catch the holistic word? It was small. Read that last verse again, in verse 5.
Did you find it that time?
It’s that little word “all.” Disciples are to love the Lord our God with “all” our heart, soul and strength. Jesus reiterated these words when confronted by the religious leaders in the New Testament. Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.'” This word is a holistic word which means it encompasses everything. All of our life is supposed to be wrapped up in loving God above all else.
Sometimes, we might ask someone, “How’s your spiritual life? How’s your walk?” Did you know there isn’t even a word in the Bible for “spiritual life?” The idea of having your spiritual life separate from your work, family, financial, recreation or sexual life would have been completely unheard of in biblical times. There was no distinction. Some have said, “all” things are spiritual.
The disciples first priority must then be to love God so much, with “all” they are, with “all” they think, with “all” they do, that they actually fail to compartmentalize their life. In the process of becoming like Christ (discipleship) there is no room for giving only part of yourself to God. Setting stuff aside for us to keep for ourselves and not surrendering it to God is not love at all. If we keep one small area for ourselves, we fail in the most foundational of priorities for the disciple of Christ.
Nothing stays under the bed.
Nothing gets hidden in a small corner of the heart.
Everything is surrendered to God because of our love for Him.
Love the Lord your God with “all.”
Now that’s a lot of weight.
What do you think? Do you struggle keeping certain parts of your life to yourself? Do you compartmentalize your spiritual life and try to convince yourself that God isn’t interested in certain areas of who you are?