Love the Lord, your God, with all your mind: How do we do that?
I don't remember ever hearing a sermon on this topic. I've heard that I'm to love the Lord, with everything I have, yes, but not ...'with all my mind.' So we pondered that the other night and came up with the following selection of thoughts and ideas...
What prompted me to consider this and for us to address it was a reminder of the old US advertising campaigns, which popped out onto my browser one day recently. It showed the old motto of the United Negro College Fund. So you know the ad was from long ago. Since negro has not been used in US language since the early 1960s. The ad shown here brought the motto to the fore: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
I gleaned from Derek Prince in the early 70s and also from Watchman Nee in his "Spiritual Man" books that the soul and the spirit were distinct. That is also indicated in these biblical verses:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 )
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The Bible is clear that even though our spirits are born of incorruptible seed, our minds (souls) still need to be purified, that is, cleansed:
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." (1 Peter 1:22-23)
Also "Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." (James 1.21)
Our spirit is instantly reborn and made new the moment we receive Yeshua as Messiah, but the soul is not born again. Our souls are transformed by the renewing of our minds:
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)
How do we love God with our mind?
Solomon teaches us:
A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel (Prov. 1.5 ) and again later in the book of Proverbs:
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning. (Prov. 9.9)
So if you think you know something, a wise man will keep learning, with his mind. Engage the brain, don't bury it!
So, using our mind and increasing in learning gives us the title “wise.”
John Piper says of this passage, to love God with our minds involves...
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- Dedicating our minds to knowing him.
- Thinking clearly and truly about him so that we don't have false ideas in our minds.
- Not being satisfied with merely an intellectual awareness of his attributes, character, and acts but intentionally devoting that mental effort to serve the affections (emotions) for God.
Piper says this, “If a person doesn't move from intellectual awareness of God and right thinking about God to an emotional embrace of God, he hasn't loved God with his mind. The mind has not yet loved until it hands off its thoughts to the emotions where they're embraced. And then the mind and the heart are working in what feels like such harmony, and you experience it as both intellectual and affectional love for God.”
Greg Simas a blogger says there are 4 ways to love God with the mind..
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:”
To reason is to think, understand and form judgments by a process of logic. I believe that part of loving God with all our mind is loving him logically. For guys like me this is a relief. I enjoy strategic thinking and order. God has given this as a gift.
Heb. 10:16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
To love God with all our mind involves taking time to fill our mind with God’s Word and to rightly agree with who He is. When we grow in truth we gain knowledge.
Isaiah 63:7 “I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us.”
The Bible is filled with commands to remember. Memories lead to gratefulness and worship. When we use our minds to remember His kindness, faithfulness, patience, peace etc. we build a foundation of faith, hope and love. We are loving God with our remembrance.
Psa. 8:3 “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;”
Isa. 55:8 “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
Don't miss this, the requirement is to love God with 'all' our mind. So don't be satisfied with minimal service, minimal prayer, minimal thinking or knowledge...press on!
Finally, you are to love the Lord, your God, with all of your mind.
Personalize this. Own God. Be in relation to God. Not that you own him, but you have a relationship with Him.
Let me summarize:
1) You shall love-- it’s a command.
2) You shall do this, it’s for you, not the other guy, it’s your responsibility.
3) Make God, your God, and know Him personally
4) With all your mind, don't be satisfied with less
5) Finally, with your mind. All the academics, the knowledge, the fear of the Lord, the imaginations and reasoning you can muster.
Hope that helps a bit. Hosea 6 says, "So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord!"