It’s natural to try to separate the four ways to love the Lord (per Mark 12:30), attempting to relate to them individually. They are actually part of a whole, and Jesus used these four elements to help us understand what it means to love him with ALL of who we are. Even so, we look at them one-by-one to grasp how to love God in the ways he commands, recognizing each element as part of its greater whole.
Considering the mind, information is stored there, along with memories. The mind is the operations hub, where data is evaluated and sent on its way to inform other processes, helping to determine what needs to happen next. This is the place where decision-making happens along with the development of values, tastes, thoughts, language, reflexes/reactions, and more.
So how do I love the Lord with all my mind? First, I need to realize the part it plays. The mind is not an entity unto itself and it doesn’t operate in a closed system. Rather, it works the very best when it is set on the Spirit and knows its place in the process.
Which is the second important thing to remember about the mind. The mind must submit to the Holy Spirit in order to serve him. Sometimes my mind thinks it knows best, or it jumps to a conclusion without all the facts. I have to stop, take a step back, and listen to the Holy Spirit as he speaks through my conscience to help me know the right path to take.
And finally, garbage in, garbage out. If we feed our minds with junk food, our ability to think well and come to the right conclusions will be impaired. Conversely, if we fill our minds with God’s word and God’s way, we will be able to cooperate with the Spirit for the very best outcome. When God is at the helm, we operate at full efficiency, collaborating with the Spirit and working side-by-side to accomplish his purposes in our lives. The more we take in that is holy and pure, the more our minds are completely focused and set to walk in the ways of the Spirit.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)
Thank you, Gigi, for your encouragement!