Obey + Love Entirely

The Old and New Testament are consistent in loving God with our entire heart, soul, and might.  What does that look like?

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// "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." -Deuteronomy 6:4-5 //

This post is inspired by a teaching from thebibleproject.com.

I'm fascinated with this verse.  Both in the Old Testament and New Testament, it's a time where God shows that humans are made of multiple components of our being - heart, soul, might; sometimes listed as heart, mind, and body.

That intricacy of how He created us is showcased for us to love Him with all of ourselves.  It's beautiful.

But like so many verses, I wondered if we took this one at face value.  When I was working through my 'Bible in a Year' devotion from The Bible Project, they highlighted this verse in Deuteronomy and shared how 'Listen' meant obey and 'Love' meant devotion.  That piqued my interest to dive into this verse and unpack it a bit more.

Hear is shama`, which is a strong reference to not only hearing, but also obeying and understanding.  Love is 'ahab, which is to have an intimacy towards.

But here is where my study blew my own mind.

It's in the mix of heart, soul, and strength.  I've heard teachers equate this to our 3 components of being - our heart (feelings), mind (logic), and bodies (physical), but the Hebrew words gave a much deeper meaning, to me.

  • Heart: lebab.  Our innermost being.
  • Soul: nephesh.  That which breathes, our lifeline.
  • Strength: mĕʾōdOur might.  Our force.  Exceeding.

This, to me, covers our beings in a more deep and beautiful way than correlating them with just mind, soul, and body.  This shows from the innermost of ourselves, to the outtermost that exceeds from us, and throughout it all the breathe and blood of our life, THAT entire being is what is to have intimacy with God.

Every nook and cranny.

Nothing left unturned.

Nothing left unknown.

From the innermost to the outermost and everything with breath throughout.

How beautiful is that?

So will we choose to obey and love God entirely with every ounce of life, that life that He gave us, that we have?

I don't know about you, but this makes me see myself in a more profound and spiritual way before my Father and makes me want to stand in awe before Him, just worshiping.

Michael Tatonetti