Love the Lord your God with all your heart, “soul, and mind”. Matthew 22:37-38.
The soul and mind are very close. Our soul is how we connect with God. Our soul is the awareness we have of God and the ability to be inspired and led by the Holy Spirit. With our soul, we confess to Christ and believe in Him.
Our mind is the thinking, planning, everyday decisions we make. Through our minds, we communicate with others, and in our minds, we generate self-talk. Through our mind, we evaluate what we see and hear. We choose what to think about and what to believe. Stress and anxiety are a common part of our thinking. Because of the fall of man, our mind and soul have been taught to dwell on failures and fear. It is much easier to dwell on negative thoughts and fearful outcomes than to choose hope.
To love the Lord God with all our soul and mind we must obey a command. This command is not a suggestion but a focused chore. To Love the Lord with all our soul and mind, some re-training is required. The result of these efforts will increase your love toward God and help bring healing to your mind and soul.
Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Command for our soul
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice! This is a command to us as we begin to train our soul and mind toward loving God more. In everything…rejoice in the Lord. The scriptures do not say rejoice in every situation. Would you rejoice for pain, sickness? Would you rejoice in murder or loss? No, but we can rejoice in the Lord.
We can rejoice that God is aware of our situations. We can rejoice that we have access to God and that He has compassion for us. We can rejoice that we have the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ to cover and strengthen us. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice” Not “IN” the situation but “IN” the Lord. It is difficult to rejoice and complain at the same time. To rejoice is to choose God’s mercy, promises, and love and not anger, self-pity or unforgiveness. Think of your most challenging situation. Got it? Now rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice that He is God and is aware of that situation. Rejoice because God can take all things and use them for good. Choose to rejoice, and again I say choose to rejoice!
Don’t overreact in situations. Take a deep breath. With thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Don’t let your mind wander to dark areas (more about this soon). With just these two commands for our soul (rejoice in the Lord, be calm, ask God in prayer for your needs), there is a promised peace that will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Did you get that last phrase? Through Jesus Christ. This is our soul connection to God. This is our soul working daily to love God more.
Command for our mind
We start with the command found at the end of Philippians 4:8..meditate on these things. The order is to focus or control what is running through our minds. Generally, most people (including myself) tend to reflect on negative “with if” or “if only”. “What if” and “if only” are not the present. They are not what is true right now. So in the situation, you have right now, filter out what is negative and replace it with what is good. “If only” and “What if” thinking is counter-productive because it does not deal with now. Remember Martha and Mary in John 11 confronting Jesus after Lazarus had died. They said, “If only You had been here, my brother would still be alive”. Jesus however, said. “I AM” the resurrection and the life. Right now is today. Not yesterday or someday. Think about what is real right now. Also, control and meditate the new thoughts according to scripture.
Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Meditate, think on these things. If you are like me, I have some retraining of my mind to do. As I am writing this, I am determining to capture my thoughts that lead to doubt, fear, what if’s, and things that bring on frustration and anger. I will CHOOSE to think on what is true, noble…
Loving the Lord with our soul and mind through the commands of Phil. 4:4-8 will produce more love for God and health in our communication with God, self, and others. Your lightnside will become brighter as you always rejoice and meditate on proper thoughts.