And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30
“I love you no matter how I feel,” I told the Lord one day as I walked with Him and one of the ministry’s dogs.
As soon as I told Him the words, it was as though they ricocheted back to me. They echoed back to me. They returned to me. For me to hear. Right then and there. Words I had spoken to God. Words I felt in my heart. With intensity. With fervor. With zeal. And in them a message. A powerful one. Particularly for people like me. Particularly for people who have walked a long hard broken road through trial after trial, step by sometimes so difficult step being transformed by God in the midst of the challenges, through the challenges, and learning day by day no matter my circumstances how to love. The right way. God’s way. The right way to love Him. The right way to love others. In this case, at that time, as I spoke to Him, the right way to love Him. At long last I had learned. Was learning. Am learning. Am now practicing. Step by step. Sometimes difficult steps still. Sometimes easier ones. Never, or rarely, it seems, super easy steps. But steps nonetheless. Steps forward. Steps in this love walk with Him.
I was feeling yucky that day. Weighed down. Discouraged. Down. Oppressed. But there I was praising God like I have learned to do every day. There I was worshiping God like I do now every day. There I was seeking God like I do now every day. I had already studied His Word that morning like I do now every day. I had already spent time with Him earlier and was now spending more time with Him like I do now every day. Something had changed over the years. I had. By Him. By His Spirit. By His Word. For His glory.
The Lord’s greatest command is to love Him with all our hearts. Let me repeat that. He commands us to LOVE HIM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS. In the first of His 10 commandments He tells us to have no gods before Him. Before God who is Lord who is Creator who is sovereign and forever. In the 1st of the 2 commandments Jesus tells us in the New Testament that sum up ALL of God’s laws is the commandment to love God with ALL OUR HEARTS. Do you hear the condition in that? Do you? Of course not! There is NO CONDITION. We are to love Him with ALL our hearts CONTINUALLY regardless of our circumstances, good or bad, easy or hard, no matter what we feel.
Isn’t it something how we humans are so focused on unconditional love when it comes to wanting it, desiring it, longing for it, and even striving to give it, but always in the context of what we call God’s unconditional love for us, and in how we relate to those we love and those who love us and even in regard to our pets! But how often do we stop to consider, if ever, and meditate on, and strive toward, this? That we are to UNCONDITIONALLY LOVE and PRAISE and WORSHIP and SERVE and OBEY and FOLLOW and HONOR and REVERE the Lord God almighty through Jesus Christ NO MATTER HOW WE FEEL?
Seems like a tall order, if not impossible, doesn’t it? But God wouldn’t ask us to do the impossible, would He? He enables us to do what He commands us to do. Some of us, and I have a long history of this, are so driven by our feelings, aren’t we? We humans are taught to value our feelings and even go so far as to exalt and worship them and oftentimes live by them, don’t we, when we think about it? But we are called by God to live by faith in Him! And our feelings, and the circumstances and details of our lives they are based on, should NOT dictate how we think of, and regard, and look to, and act toward, and treat, and consider, etc., God!
Is there anyone in the universe who is more worthy of unconditional love than the Lord, considering His perfectness, His glory, His might, His power, His wisdom, His awesomeness, His beauty and majesty and on and on? Of course not!
That day, I was affirming for myself, and before God, that no matter how wonderful I feel, or how yucky I feel, no matter my life’s story, no matter the details of each and every day, that I love the Lord. And that I want Him to know that, and I want to act accordingly. I am learning day by day my feelings need to bow down, I need to humble myself before God, and the one to be exalted, the one to be loved and exalted forevermore, is God, Lord of all!
Do you love the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART no matter how you feel? Unconditionally? Do you tell Him? Do you show Him? Do you act like it? Can others see it? He knows your heart! He knows the deepest recesses of it. May your heart, and life, your words, and your actions, and my heart, life, words, and actions, be filled with unconditional love for the Lord!