Last week I referred to being “All In” with relationship to Jesus the Christ – He told us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37. The message resonated with many that I talked with via email & phone, but the question remained – “How do I do ‘All In’?” It requires being Strong in heart, soul and mind.
The first step is to Be Strong in heart. Jesus said, “all your heart”, referring to a physical commitment to Him. When His disciples heard, “Follow me”, they were convicted to stop what they were doing and to step up in a physical commitment to Him. Jesus would spend the next three years strengthening their soul and mind but it required a physical commitment, their whole heart. Jesus expected each of His disciples, and that includes us, to be tuned-in to Him 24/7.
God’s word to Joshua was just as clear – “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:7. God expected Joshua to stay tuned-in to Him. Joshua could not do the job before him without God in the middle of every situation, decision and relationship. Neither can we.
Disconnect and failure to be tuned-in to Jesus with your whole heart leads to bad choices. My choices led to an ‘-ism’ – workaholism, that distracted and inhibited my ALL. I had moved beyond providing for my family as 1Timothy 5:8 stipulates. I was driven by the recognition, status, income level and other perks the job offered. I was certainly under the influence of the world thanks to choices I had made and priorities I had set. Being Strong required me to come clean with my sins of selfish motivation, tune out worldly influence, tune-in to His grace and prioritize my relationship with Him.
Tips to Be Strong in Heart:
- Set right priorities – nurture a personal & passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ, live that relationship in marriage and reflect it in family and beyond;
- Come clean with any sins that are inhibiting loving the Lord your God with ALL your heart and embrace the grace of the cross;
- Build relationships with one or two other Christian men that will hold you accountable on this heart-turning journey. Men need ‘battle buddies’!
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, … But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15. Be strong, be a Joshua in your circles.
Prayer guide: Lord, grant me the strength to love You with my whole heart and reflect that love in marriage & family. I confess my commitment to me instead of You. Turn my heart O God and bring men into my life that will encourage me and hold me accountable on a closer walk with You. Amen
A faithful father serves the Lord with his whole heart.