Thought I’d mess you up with what is messing me up write now, this is from the brilliant Dana Candler who co-wrote some Mike Bickle books, but I’ve edited pretty hard and added some.
37 Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.” (Mt. 22:37-38)
- We stand before a real Person who extends to us this invitation of the highest order. It is a call to fervency that flows from the fullness of love. Just as His eyes pierced through the crowds of old, Jesus summons each single heart out of its lethargy into wholehearted givenness to God. He beckons us to the only foreseeable future, the only plausible outlook, if we desire to live in the fullness of His highest for us. He calls us to give Him everything.
- Wholehearted love is who God is, what He gives and what He demands. God does not love inside boundaries or up to a certain point, but fully. And this is how He invites us to love Him and to love others, with the very same love (Jn. 17:26). He is not—and has never been—a God of fractions but of fullness. He has always been jealous for all and has not changed in the nature of His all-consuming desire for our everything. -Legalism is sadly disconnected from the fire and passion of the One who gave all in pursuing us so that we would surrender all in pursuing Him. Radical obedience to His leadership and Word flows from the heart that passionately longs for more of God. That kind of longing is sustained by the vision to experience more of His consuming love.
- Wholeheartedness is fueled by the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in us, and that fire can go out without keeping oil in our lamp, feeding our Spirit with the Scriptures, praying them. Scheduling our time and priorities to line up with our desire for more of God is a necessary and practical way to keep our cold heart before the fire of the Word and Spirit. (-me).
“The radiant Image of the Father’s glory has come to light a fire in us, a burning love, a consuming yearning. There is nothing lukewarm about the God of revelation. Always radical and total, never does He reduce what He expects of us to fractions. Our communion with Him is to become a blazing fire, a perpetual ecstasy. These strong words will sound strange and exaggerated only to those who have not tasted that the Lord is good. They may have studied and read, but they have not drunk deeply.” -Thomas Dubay
- Bernard of Clairvaux stated, “It is true that the created ones are love less because they are lesser. But If one loves with one’s whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given.” Meaning to love Him with only portions of our heart, soul, mind and strength is to love Him in ways actually ‘counter’ to the nature of love. Though our love is not perfect in the sense of maturity, He asks us to love Him now in the way that Love Himself loves—comprehensively and fully given to Him in every area that we know and perceive, with no conscious place of compromise yet remaining.
- This divine summoning to wholeheartedness does not only have to do with who God is but who we are and how He created us to live.
- The truth is that we were made to abandon ourselves, made to give all in love without compromise. Innate in our makeup is dissatisfaction with half-heartedness and a yearning to love and be loved to the uttermost. Many will surprisingly respond to the call to abandonment. Many remain passive until they hear the call to surrender everything, for there is something inside them that fully responds to only that. We were created to give all.
- Only in the safety of wholeheartedness will we will be kept secure in the hour of delusion that will sweep the globe before the Return of Jesus. In the day when lawlessness abounds, the love of many will grow cold (Mt. 24:11, 12). Divided hearts will give way to their shifting foundations and only lives built upon the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus—the pursuit of the First Commandment as spelled out in the Sermon on the Mount—will stand firm and be prepared at His Return (Matt. 7: 24–27; Rev. 19:7). At the very least, lukewarmness appears to be an area of concern in the church of the generation the Lord returns.
- The invitation to wholeheartedness, or abandonment, the call to the first commandment, is a PRESENT TENSE invitation. When God asks us to love Him wholly, He is not demanding immediate maturity but rather complete response in the here and now.
- On any particular day we can yield to Him fully and in so doing love Him with a love that comes before the Throne of God as whole and complete.
- Every season will give reasons why not to be wholehearted for God. Commonness. Immaturity. Difficult circumstances. We might say, “When I get beyond this, I’ll be wholehearted.” Some in busy seasons are continually saying, “When things settle down I’ll give Him my heart in the way that I want to.” Others experience seasons of regret and think that they gave up their opportunity already. Jesus says, “It’s about right NOW.”
- Loving God wholly is not something done or something offered once and for all. Nor is it just a vow made in the heightened moments of sincere desire—delayed in its fruition until the end of one’s life. We live this out in a thousand times a thousand moments, day after day after day.
- Often we delay in giving God the final fractions of our lives because we want Him to first change our circumstances. We imagine that, when our conditions are different, then finally we will be wholehearted. Yet He has actually put within our paths each circumstance according to His perfect leadership to create the pressures and difficulties necessary to produce a new level of response in us. God has allowed each circumstance to be part of the plan to actually bring into being our full-givenness to Him.
- The enemy would love to seduce us into the fantasy of the future or the romanticism of the past if only to keep us from radical love and obedience in the here and now. If we perceive today as only a neutral point in time—than we will fall into the deception laid out for us, becoming utterly powerless both in the present and in the days ahead.
- The love that fuels martyrdom begins in monotony and the power to give all for God does not come in the limitation of a heightened moment of testing but through the cultivation of a thousand moments. The key to winning the race is the marathon pace and the assurance of a right response in the pinnacle moment is the response of sincere love in thousands of ordinary and secret moments day after day after day. Scheduling our time and priorities to line up with our desire for more of God is a necessary and practical way to keep our cold heart before the fire of the Word and Spirit. If we sow to the Spirit we will reap the Spirit (Gal. 6:8)
- Jesus walked among us! This truth of Jesus’ crowning the common and not distancing Himself from the ordinary expands even more to reveal the way He values the small and seemingly trivial parts of love. He is the God who not only embraced the common on His walk on the earth and gave me access to His heart amidst my everyday life, He is the One who allows His heart to be moved deeply by every choice made in love for Him, every word of affection I pray, every action done in love (Song. 4:9; Matt. 6:1–18; Heb. 6:10; Mt. 10:42)