“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” “What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; Jeremiah 24:7; Proverbs 3:5; Mark 12:30
God deals with all; He does not command partial. Just as He is all God, all for us, He expects that we who follow Him would be wholly His, all in, loving, fearing, serving, and trusting Him with all our hearts. When we stray, He invites us to return with all our hearts, leaving no closed doors, no dusty corners, no hold-backs. Consider the rich young ruler, thinking he had done all, yet unwilling to give all:
“A man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him,.. ‘You know the commandments: “Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.”‘ And he said to him, ‘Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.’ And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Mark 10:17-22
How is my definition of all different from God’s? Where am opening myself for God to use, but then dictating how, choosing those whom I want to serve, befriend, help? Do I pray myself all in, but gravitate toward personal preferences and easier places? Do I avoid the difficult, the crusty and squeaky, and thus prohibit the Lord from teaching full dependence, whole surrender, complete abandon to His love flowing through me? Where am I offering all, but holding back some? He Who made the heart died for all the heart, that it can be whole for Him.
“Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.” ~Frances Havergal (1874)
God, You know my heart, You understand my every plan and thought. Search me, purify me, give me an undivided heart to fear You, to wholly love, serve, and trust You. And through all of me, please show Your great heart to others. (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 86:11; 139:23; Acts 15:8)