27 Jan What does it mean to love God with all my strength?
Mark 12:30 (NIV) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
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When I think of being strong, I think of the Cross-fit athletes I see on TV. These athletes are unbelievably fit, muscular and I love watching all their incredible power to lift, pull, throw and climb. They “win” by training to push their bodies to exhaustion and to their 100 % physical and mental limit, (the fact that their bodies seem to be perfect without any fat or wrinkle is an added bonus). This display of strength is inspiring in one sense and discouraging in another. I’m inspired to get stronger and do my very best at my workouts to achieve this yet it also seems unattainable for the average person with time and physical injury constraints. Do I even know what my 100% limit is or do I think my 85% limit is all I can do? What if I do my best and don’t achieve “perfection” in my body? Was it worth it? Do I still struggle and wish my thighs were smaller and my arms tighter? What if my best “isn’t good enough”? Did I waste all my energy physically and mentally on something I could never have?
All these questions float around in my head to decide if its worth the time and energy to do my best. Then I realize that my focus is on the wrong thing – as it typically is. My focus should be on “loving God with all my strength”, not giving 100% of my strength to loving myself and being pleased with my effort and results. Whatever exercise you do, do it to grow in greater health and to respect the body God gave you. Don’t do it to achieve personal satisfaction or to be “fitfully” accepted by others. Taking care of our body as God’s temple is a privilege as our bodies are not our own, friends, they are a gift from God.
Loving God with all our strength requires submission to His leading and us being built up stronger through His Word for the purpose of overflowing with His love to show His character to others. If we give God 100% of our focus as we train, He will make us stronger than we can imagine. The strength we receive from Him allows us to humbly love and faithfully forgive others and even ourselves, regardless of deserving it. We are here to love God with all that we have, replacing our own desires with reckless devotion to taking the next step God calls us to take.