Daily Devotional

"You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." Deuteronomy 13:3

This Old Testament call to love the Lord our God with all our heart has not changed.  Jesus expressed almost the same exact words (Matt. 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27).

How might we think about such a call, as believers in Christ?  We are all committed to this kind of love, but are often unsure of just what it means.  I wrote several statements in my journal last September when I was spending time in this Deuteronomy passage.  Perhaps they can be of help to us.

  • It means becoming fully aligned with Him.  That is, coordinating all our activities under His plans, His leadership – to the exclusion of all else which conflicts.
  • It means tuning our heart to love what he loves; to desire what He desires.
  • It means being always engrossed in His presence; to be in union with His person.
  • It means always living by faith in His Providence, in His Spirit alive and active in us.
  • It means avoiding all other competitors calling to our hearts, that we might remain true.
  • It means finding our soul satisfaction in Him, soul fulfillment in Him; all other life  fulfillments only come in Him and through Him.
  • It means finding our essential completeness not in earthly or fleshly things, but in Christ.  In who He is.  In what He has done.  In what He is doing.  All the most important soul needs are found and claimed and retained in Him:  security, provision, peace, joy, love, a future, family, usefulness, etc.

We learn more from the next verse in Deuteronomy 13.

You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him (verse 4).

There are several verbs here which give us a sense of what God is saying to His people.

  • Follow…the Lord your God
  • Fear…Him
  • Keep…His commandments
  • Listen…to His voice
  • Serve...Him
  • Cling…to Him

If God were a man, and we were called to take this life approach under that man, it really would not leave much of anything else!  We would be doing the following.

  • We would follow that man around.
  • We would fear that man above all other influences which we might encounter.
  • We would do everything that man tells us to do; perhaps what he has already schooled us in.
  • We would listen to Him in the highest way, above all other voices or calls, above all distractions, desires or attractions.
  • We would serve him in every way, always waiting in His presence.
  • It would mean that we cling to that man, always staying close enough to be able to throw our arms around him.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.