Loving God Fully

by | Jul 1, 2009 | Purpose & Identity

When we pursue truth, virtue and service as loving God, our pursuits are acts of worship.

Carol Taylor, Ph.D.At Vanguard University of Southern California, our motto is “Truth, Virtue, and Service.” It is aligned with what Jesus called the first and greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, NKJV).

Truth is pursued and pondered in the life of the mind. Virtue is developed and flows from the heart and soul. Service is truth and virtue lived out with extended hands in service.

We don’t choose to love God with our heads or hearts or hands in some tripartite devotion. It’s all three—integrated, undivided, seamless. When we pursue truth, virtue and service as loving God, our pursuits become acts of worship.

At a Christian university, we place great emphasis on loving God with our minds. Because this is our act of worship, we seek insight from the source of all knowledge and wisdom, whether preparing a manuscript for publication or a paper for class or a lab report or a performance. And in doing so we love God with our minds, which makes our classrooms and labs and athletic fields and stages as sacred as our chapels.

But loving God with only our minds can be dangerous. The Pharisees were the most biblically literate of the day. They believed they alone heard from God and understood His ways. They knew all the prophecies and promises of the Messiah and then not only failed to recognize Him in their midst but also crucified Him. To love God only with our minds can lead to arrogance and self-righteousness.

We must also love God with our hearts and souls—fully, passionately. No one has expressed it more eloquently than St. Augustine in his Confessions: “Too late have I loved thee, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new. Too late have I loved Thee! … I tasted, and now I hunger for you.” Or more accurately: “You awake us to delight in your praise; for you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

But beware. There is an equal danger when we love God with only our emotions and passions. Then we can be easily led astray, and the truth of the Word becomes just another book of wisdom among many acceptable alternatives.

While waiting for a flight, I wandered into an airport bookstore and found displayed on their recommended reading table two fine Christian books. One was Michael J. Wilkins and J.P. Moreland’s Jesus Under Fire and the other DC Talk’s Live Like a Jesus Freak.

But these two books were sandwiched between The Toltec Way: A Guide to Personal Transformation. The back cover of the Toltec Way promised: “The gift of Toltec wisdom is the ability to find your own essence and in turn to experience yourself as the creator of your life.”

The danger in loving God without our minds engaged is that we won’t be able to discern between Toltec wisdom and the real words of life that reside not in finding ourselves, but in losing ourselves, dying in order to find life. As we continue to open our minds and hearts to Him and to His Word, as we pursue excellence because we desire to offer Him our best service, we will find His mercies are new every day and that He is always faithful.

He will be faithful in the halls and classrooms of academia, in graduate studies at secular research institutions and medical schools, in clinics and research labs and hospitals, in secular classrooms, in professional sporting arenas, in accounting firms and corporate board rooms, in churches, in pulpits, in performance halls and art galleries, in media and news rooms, in political arenas and courthouses, from Los Angeles to New York and around the globe as we feed the hungry, care for the orphans, and translate His good news to all the peoples of the earth through our lives. He will be faithful in our homes and in our relationships and finally at our gravesides.

We will find that His great love will pursue us; hold us; restore us; grant us knowledge and wisdom and insight; and fit us for service. We will find He is faithful today and tomorrow and for all eternity.

How then can we not love him fully, passionately—head, heart and hands?


CAROL TAYLOR, PH.D., is the president of Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about standing strong in the storms of life. Whether you're dealing with a...

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

Mario Murillo Sends Special Urgent Message to Kingdom Leaders

Mario Murillo Sends Special Urgent Message to Kingdom Leaders

Attention. Several hundred leaders are registered for our special brunch on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. Seats are filling up and we must give our host a final number of meals to prepare. Please do not wait. Make your reservation now for this free brunch. I have a very...

How to Position Yourself to Receive the Issachar Anointing

How to Position Yourself to Receive the Issachar Anointing

The key to being positioned to receive the Issachar anointing has to do with timing and seasons. Those who carry the Issachar anointing understand the times and seasons we are in. They have discernment and knowledge, enabling them to lead well. They seek the wisdom of...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the...
What Praises of Thanksgiving Mean for Your Soul

What Praises of Thanksgiving Mean for Your Soul

We tend to think of gratitude as an obligation as opposed to a weapon of warfare. A nicety, not a ferocious force for transformation. We are wrong. From our earliest days we are trained that polite people say “thank you.” Certainly, this is true and proper. Those of...

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

They will make the greatest bid for world domination in history. It is no longer just armies that threaten freedom—it is corporations and corrupt politicians. I believe that evil in all of its vile colors is even now rising to try to crush our freedom and our...

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

Have you noticed that no matter how good you’re doing, trouble always seems to come? Trouble is not an “if” in life. It’s a “when.” Trouble may come in finances, a diagnosis, a family problem or even a season of hardship. But understand this: there is more than one...

Pin It on Pinterest