Monday, January 12, 2015

The Two Greatest Commandments

Part 2: Loving God Spiritually

In the first part of this series of loving God, we discovered the essentials of showing the Lord affection with our minds. We came to understand how fruitful it is to build a solid prayerful and meditative devotion to God. Now that we know how to surrender our minds over to the Lord, then we need to take the next step by loving Him with our souls.

The soul is the inner core of our connection with God. When God created man by breathing His breath inside the flesh, man became a living being (Genesis 1:26). The Lord created us in His image and Spirit so we could feel His presence. Our soul is not a physical entity, but the dwelling place of our Father, and the way we tap into it is from Christ through the Holy Spirit.

In the Book of Genesis, one of the principal components in discovering how the soul works is when God provided Adam and Eve the freedom of choice (Genesis 2:16-17). The Lord granted them free reign over all things in the Garden of Eden except for the fruit of the tree of good and evil. When they chose disobedience (Genesis 3:6), the awareness of their conscience revealed. God’s penalties for their wrong choice are still with us today, and His new covenant in allowing our favor with Him comes from a personal relationship with the Messiah.
God is giving, loving and forgiving. He is reliable, faithful and understanding. The Lord is righteous, just and correct. Our Father has placed those like qualities inside our souls. They are the essence of His existence and the way He has bonded our spirits with Him. Learning how to possess, maintain and nourish them can only come from a working relationship with Christ because without God’s guidance we will be unable to love Him spiritually.

God designed every man and woman with the desire to be physically, emotionally and spiritually secure. Our Father has provided us with the ability to harvest the land for food. Those necessities of security and food are our survival. God also wants us to multiply the earth by helping Him with creating more of His children. Another need, He has instilled in us, is finding fellowship with others. So, our desire for security, sex and friendship are certainly part of God’s creation.

Understanding the freedom God has allowed us in being an individual, having sex relations and connection with others is crucial to loving Him with our spirits. The Lord has made those human instincts enjoyable, and misused from His intended purpose. So, without Christ’s direction in aligning them with God’s will, they ruin our relationship with the Lord, cause us to harm others and prevent us from an afterlife with Him.
The results from misusing our God-given instincts allows our souls to become attached to pride, lust, anger, envy and the like. All those sins displease the Lord and fosters evil and wickedness. When our instincts are out of control the damage caused is devastating to those in the way. And our excessive indulgence in them distance us from Christ. Living life in that manner does not love God with the soul. That is why it’s imperative to humble ourselves. Our eternal lives depend upon the condition of our souls and the only way our spirits can find godliness is through Christ.

God’s gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:1-10) is how we can love Him with our spirits. Once the granting of salvation is in place, then it becomes our responsibility to continue surrendering our souls to Christ so we can love God spiritually. Through Christ, our needs shift from personal satisfaction to seeking the will of our Father. Jesus provides us with the strength and courage to sacrifice individual desires for eternal life.

The moment we reach out sincerely to Christ, then we find the path of loving God with the soul. Our ability to stay on the narrow way increases and our disobedience decreases. Even though we fall short in adhering to Christ’s godly ways the only thing, to remember, is to rededicate our spirits back to Him. We will not be let down because God is pleased when we don’t give up. We will realize failure is our greatest period of spiritual growth.

We have briefly discussed some of the ways we can love our Father spiritually. One of the fascinating parts of our journey with Christ is there’s always more to learn. Our experiences with salvation may vary, and God has a specific plan for each of us. Nevertheless, our faith and Christ’s resurrection assure us of eternal life. All, we have to do, is trust God.

How do you love God spiritually?

This part two of four covering the scripture Matthew 22:37-40.