By Liz Vaughton
• Jesus highlighted this commandment – “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Jesus used MUST. Why? John 10:10 To give us life in all it’s fullness. Psalm 16:11 you show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
The way is key. Remember He pours love on us. He loves us so much Jesus died for us!! • What is the soul? Soul – is the capacity to integrate all of these parts into a single whole life and connecting us to other people, creation & God. Our souls are needy. We are limited in virtually every way apart from in desire........the souls infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God’s infinite capacity to give. Our need was meant to point us to God but instead we look to other things to satisfy us. The soul will never be satisfied with anything/anyone else. The soul must orbit around something - God. • How can we love God with all of our souls? We need a life of continual prayer. This is a life’s work. We look to Jesus, we know he is the way, we are his apprentices. We know his yoke is easy. Matt 11:28-30 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Encouragement in Jeremiah 29:13 If you look for me wholeheartedly you will find me. Solitude & silence The world is noisy, it drowns out the input of God who we need most. Jesus went to a quiet place as part of the rhythm of his life. When he had been busy he found a solitary place. When we are busy the quiet place is the first thing to go, rather than our go to. How can you carve it out? How can it be a priority? Solitude is anything but loneliness or isolation, it’s active, it’s where we feel most connected to God. What do you/will you do in the silence & solitude – read your Bible, talk to Him, worship Him, meditate on him, contemplative prayer (check out https://prayercourse.org/sessions/ which we’ve been following in home groups, session 6 will help you with contemplative prayer), LISTEN to hear God’s still small voice. (Dallas Willard suggests asking God to speak to you and then giving time to listen by performing a mundane task such as gardening, cleaning, a jigsaw that requires just enough attention to leave space for His still small voice https://www.eden.co.uk/shop/hearing-god-4034588.html ) God is with you all the time, he is ready it’s us who are too busy and noisy to notice! Sabbath Sabbath is a command. Far too easily disregarded. God rested on the 7th day. He’s given us a rhythm. Such a gift every 7th day!! Not something to feel oppressed by. “Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth, but on the Sabbath, we care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul” Abraham Heschel. If we care for that seed, we will live the other 6 days way better. Slowness If we can try and slow down our minds and bodies, our souls may then “taste and see the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8 Jesus wasn’t in a hurry. We can tune in to God more easily if we slow down. Slow down enough to enjoy the moment. Breathe deep and slow, pair it with words of adoration to him (we used “my God, my all” Francis of Assisi). • Recap We must love God with all of our souls. It’s a life’s work. The soul needs to orbit around something. We want a life of continual prayer. How? Jesus shows us the WAY, his yoke is easy. 3 ways to help – silence & solitude, sabbath, slowness Jeremiah 29:13 If you look for me wholeheartedly you will find me. I am happy to discuss any of this in more detail with you, as is David.