Do you remember the TV show “Love Connection”? A male or female guest would sit on the couch with host, Chuck Woolery, and they and the studio audience would view three contestant profile videos and then the audience would vote on who was best suited for the guest. The guest on the couch would then share who they selected for a date and the details of a recent date with that person. (That contestant was off stage via live video to give their perspective of the date as well) Very quickly it became clear whether there was a “love connection” between the guest and the contestant. If it was a success, the contestant came on stage to join the guest and a new date was set for them there.
At the center of this game show is the “connection” that was or was not made between the couple. How attuned to each other, compatible, interested, and sensitive to one another were they? Were they “present” for each other and given to the experience of being together? Were they on the same page?
That is precisely the connection the Lord is looking for in us each Sunday we gather to worship, as well as in our own private devotional time. (They call it “devotion time” because we are to devote ourselves to Christ during this time!) The Greatest Commandment states to “love the Lord with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind.” What does that mean for us in the context of worship? Let’s take it phrase by phrase…
ALL YOUR HEART – Worship is a “heart thing”. It has to engage our emotions, our memories of God’s goodness and faithfulness, and it requires us to drop our guard and be real about what is in our hearts with God. King David was a “man after God’s own heart” – so he should know about these things. He wrote constantly about his heart’s expressions for God…
We have to connect with the Lord on a heart level – not just causally, but with ALL our heart – expressing our love for Him with complete abandon. So, does your heart throb for God in worship?
ALL YOUR SOUL – So what does it mean to love God with your soul? It is to bring your inner person, your issues, concerns and fears before God to let him speak to them. It is to allow God to speak into the deepest part of your life where your dreams, hopes and frustrations lay buried under all sorts of other activities and ideas. The Apostle Paul share the depths of his soul to the church in Corinth and in doing so asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh, but Paul shares that God said to him…
We need to connect with God from the deepest parts of our soul, so He can minister to us there, bring healing, confirm dreams and plans, restore relationships and fulfill our greatest desires. So, are you giving God your complete soul in worship?
ALL YOUR MIND – This is an easier one for us. We understand Christ, we can analyze scripture and place things in a historical perspective pretty easily. John Piper, the great Christian theologian, identifies three components to loving God with all our minds – 1) Dedicating our minds to knowing him. 2) Thinking clearly and truly about him so that we don’t have false ideas in our minds, and 3) 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.
How distracted are you in worship? Do you find your mind wandering during devotions, are you checking your cellphone during worship?
Think of our time in worship with God like a date. If your spouse or significant other was disengaged emotionally, not sharing the deepest desires of their life with you, and were distracted when together with you, you’d likely feel there was no love there at that moment. The same is true with our time with God. When we’re with Him in worship, we need to engage our heart, soul and mind so that the time together is special, meaningful, and productive to our relationship. In short, we need to foster that “love connection” with the Father!
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (ESV)
9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (ESV)
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. (ESV)
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and my mind. (ESV)
9 O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. (ESV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)