How to Have a Heart that Belongs to God
In my previous post, I discussed the fact that we should get rid of all our sinful desires before they consume us and lead us away from God. Sinful desires make us love other things the way that we should love God. By using God as our primary source of strength, we can overcome these negative desires.
Desires are actually good. There is no life without desire. After covering how to deal with sinful desires, I would like to talk about how we can cultivate a strong desire for God that leads us right to where He wants us to be.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
We are commanded to love God with everything that we are (Bible Verses)
- You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5)
- Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12) (Deuteronomy 11:1)
- It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 11:13)
- For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him (Deuteronomy 11:22)
- you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3)
- if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in His ways always--then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three (Deuteronomy 19:9)
- Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live (Deuteronomy 30:6)
- in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it (Deuteronomy 30:16)
- by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them (Deuteronomy 30:20)
- Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Joshua 22:5)
- So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God (Joshua 23:11)
- O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer (Psalm 31:23)
- And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30) (Matthew 22:27) (Luke 10:27) (Mark 12:33)
- But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him (1 John 2:5)
- For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)
- And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it (2 John 1:6)
If we truly loved God with everything that we are, many of our issues would fall away.
That's a lot of scripture instructing us to love God with everything that we are! Simply going to church once a week and giving half an hour of your day to God does not make the cut. You need to love God with EVERYTHING.
As discussed in my previous post, a lot of the issues that we face today are the result of our loving other things instead of God. If we truly loved God, these things would fall away.
God is the answer to everything. He is the answer to loneliness, depression, illness, lack and disparity. All of life's answers can be found in the Giver of life. We all have complete access to God through Christ, but we often give God limited access to our own heart. When we love God fully, we seek Him wholeheartedly and He shows up miraculously.
The Chore versus the Search
How many of the times that you spend with God feel like nothing but something that you do to tick off your daily list? Would you say that the majority of your quiet times are as meaningful as they should be?
The time that we dedicate to the things of God should be the times where we seek God with everything that we have. In these times, our hearts should yearn for more and more of God's Spirit. When actions flow without the heart's passion, they become empty offerings.
Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf.
Sacrifice leads to desire
The more of ourselves we give to something, the more valuable it becomes to us. The greater the cost, the greater the value we place on things. This is why addictions or habits that consume more of your life are harder to get rid of: The more something takes from your life, the more you will desire it. This also explains why people who are stuck in relationships where they sacrifice everything find it almost impossible to move on.
If your relationship with God is not costing you anything, you have turned God into a convenient extra instead of the source of your being.
God requires everything. The more of yourself that you give to God, the more you will desire God. This is why fasting is such a great way to grow closer to the Spirit. You are literally sacrificing what you need to survive for God. This lights a fire that consumes your heart and leaves you experiencing God in a way that you wouldn't without the sacrifice.
For our God is a consuming fire.
A fire needs fuel to burn
This is one of my favorite verses. God is an all-consuming fire that will burn away everything that is not from Him. We know that all good things come from Him (James 1:17). When God's fire falls on you, nothing but God's goodness is left.
Notice that this fire is a consuming fire. Fire needs fuel to burn. A fire without enough wood will slowly diminish until it fizzles out. Our relationship with God is no different. We need to offer ourselves as the wood that God will burn up to leave nothing but Himself behind.
When you hand over your desires to God, the Fire of God burns brighter in you
The way to increase your desire and love for God is to give over your other desires to Him. The more you do this, the more your heart will be set ablaze by God's Spirit. Loves requires sacrifice. We see God's love for us in that God gave His Son for us. God sees our love for Him in whether we sacrifice our lives to Him.
How do you do this? Find desires, actions and habits that you can give to God. They don't need to necessarily be sinful or bad for you. Here are a few examples of how you can sacrifice yourself to God's consuming fire:
- Cut out all social media for a day and dedicate this time to God instead
- Give your lunch to someone who needs it more than you
- Volunteer at your church or at a charity
- Choose time with God over a social gathering that does not glorify God
- Compliment others; knowing that every time you do this, you please God
- Every hour, think of one thing to be thankful to God for
As you do these things, you give a little bit more of yourself into God's Holy fire. These things please God. You will notice a greater presence of God's Spirit in your life during the times that you give something over to Him. This will make you want to do it more and more. Before you know it, you will be walking so close to God that all that the world sees is God in you - and all that you see is God in the world.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
If you know of somebody who will benefit from this message, please share it with them. I pray this that message will bring value to your life. If it has, please let me know in the comments below.