"Love the Lord your God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength." Deut 6:5
I had a revelation about this scripture the other day. If we are to love God this way, we should do everything we can to strengthen our heart, our mind, and our soul.
The stronger we are the more we can love God.
The question is: how do I grow stronger? We know how to become stronger physically. We exercise and eat right. We know how to become stronger mentally. We read more. Learn new things. But how do we strengthen our souls?
The answer lies in the spiritual disciplines known as the means of grace. Those practices such as prayer, worship, Bible study, giving, feeding the poor, etc that allow us to love God and love our neighbor. Strengthening our soul isn't just an internal practice but also one that connects us to others.
I like to think of spiritual disciplines visually by looking at a Möbius strip. It is an infinite loop. If you run your finger along the surface, you'll go to the inside of the strip to the outside and back again.
The disciplines that prepare me inwardly allow me to live my faith out in the world and my experiences in the world shape my practices of faith. Prayer prepares me for showing compassion to my neighbor and spending time with my neighbor helps me to know how to pray for them.
Strength is a part of being made whole. I recently preached about the feeling of freedom and being made whole. We often think that having a strong faith will make us happy but happiness is not a permanent state, wholeness is.
Your faith makes you strong. It makes you whole. Getting stronger doesn't make you any more whole. You're already whole. But it can make others stronger. It can lead others to wholeness.
And that is what love looks like.
Until Everyone Hears,