“Love the Lord your God with all your . . . strength.” Mark 12.30
It is so easy to be passive about our Christian life. We let our thoughts, disappointments and feelings rob us of the wonder of the love and intimacy that
God wants us to enjoy. To love God with all our strength means actively doing everything we can to live in the recognition that we are loved by God. Sadly this does not happen naturally, and too often we are casual visitors to the love that God has for us rather than permanent dwellers.
In 2 Corinthians 10.5, Paul encourages us to ‘demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God’. He is saying here that we need to take a stand against everything that tries to persuade us that we cannot enjoy the love and intimacy of God. This requires action on our part - often frequent and strong action – to change the way we think and interpret our feelings. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of letting our feelings control what we believe, rather than examining them in the light of our beliefs. At times we may feel that God is absent; is this correct, or does it mean that we have not turned our attention to him?
Strength may not be an attribute that you naturally apply to yourself but it is something to which we are all called, and when we engage in such a battle we are truly loving God with all our strength. Thankfully we are not alone in this, because we carry God’s presence, love and strength within to give us the help we need.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission