And you must love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. – Mark 12:30
I believe most of the battles you and I face are fought in the mind. It’s in our mind that doubts are raised, fears are born and self defeating thoughts dwell. It is a crucial battlefield that many of us fail to admit what’s going on in. We say we’re fine, when really we’re entrenched in a battle for our mind. In order to be victorious in those battles, it is critical that we learn to love God with our mind.
Loving God with our mind is about making the choice to continue to love when our passion fades and our psyche doesn’t feel like it. It’s about remembering those feelings of gracefulness that came along when you were rescued from the gates of hell and have since gone away in the day to day routine of being a Christian. Lamentations 3:21-22 says, “But this I recall and therefore have hope and expectation: it is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed.” The writer knew that when his hope was fading, he had to recall where he came from and therefore had hope.
Hope is a hard thing to keep up when you experience physical trials and pray to an invisible God. Doubt comes in and let’s you know the trials are real, but asks, “Where is God in all of this?” If we don’t learn to love God with our minds and have the ability to recall what He’s done, it will be easy to fall in such a situation. I remember when my mom was dying of cancer 15 years ago. One of the days that I went into ICU to visit her a M. D. Anderson in Houston, she could see the worry on my face. She did something that I’ll never forget.
She sat me down and started from when she was a child until that very day and recalled every time that God had met her needs. She told of childhood struggles, her doubts, miracles she had seen God perform for her and our family. For hours she talked to me about it. In the end, she looked at me and said, “Chris, I have peace with what will happen here because I know God has always done what’s best for me.” She loved God with her mind as well as with her passion and psyche. When she was tired from the chemo, when her psyche was worn out from the fight with cancer and her body couldn’t move, she showed me what it meant to love God with her mind.
Her body didn’t survive what cancer had done to it, but her soul did because cancer could not touch her love for God. It was hard not to be angry with God about losing her, but before she passed, my dad sat us down and told us to purpose in our minds that no matter what happened, we wouldn’t get angry with God. We needed to remember He is a good God even when things don’t go the way we want them to. We needed to love Him with our minds instead of losing the battle to anger and doubt.
What about you? How have you learned to love God with your mind when everything else seems to be failing? Maybe you’re struggling with your love for God today as you read this because of circumstances that you don’t understand. Let me encourage you to do what my mom taught me. Go back and recall all that God has done for you, write it down so you can see it and then have hope and expectation as Lamentations put it. Loving God with your mind is hard work, but critical to surviving difficult times.