In Mark 12:30, Jesus answers the question of a teacher of the law regarding the most important commandment with this response: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The point here is that God wants our love for him displayed in our whole being, nothing less. Our devotion is to be all-inclusive, encompassing every part of us. Considering what it looks like to be devoted with our whole heart is today’s first post of four in taking a closer look at this command and how we might live it out.
I am inspired by the heart of the prophet Daniel. Though pressed into service of the Babylonian king who did not know or follow God, Daniel demonstrated what it means to love God with one’s whole heart and live in the world while not succumbing to the ways of the world. Daniel was committed to living out his devotion to God first no matter what – even when it was decreed that the only acceptable prayers for 30 days were those offered to the King. When Daniel got wind of this newly signed decree, he went straight away to his room, opened the windows and prayed toward Jerusalem three times a day, just as he had done before.
I admire this about Daniel. He chose to be devoted to God no matter what the cost. To me, this is what a fully devoted heart looks like.
Daniel could have rationalized that God would be fine with mid-day prayers conducted from his bedside instead of the window. The words would have been the same — what is the difference where they are prayed? It was only for thirty days, after all. No, Daniel chose out-loud devotion above personal safety and refused to compromise that devotion for any reason. I, on the other hand, find it all too easy to choose personal comfort over wholehearted devotion while absolving my cowardice to any lame excuse.
I want Daniel’s committed devotion. I want to fearlessly be the right person at the right time, demonstrating my wholehearted love in a way that brings a smile to my Savior’s face.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. –Matthew 6:21 (NIV)