For many of us, these have become nothing more than spiritual soundbites. We may know in our heads that these statements are true yet they aren’t much more than words. Their truth has no tangible impact on our lives. We accept as fact that we are God’s beloved children, yet we trudge along in this journey called life as orphans. Feeling empty. Unloved. Unimportant. Why? Because God’s words of affirmation have settled firmly between our ears.
I was raised in a religious tradition with a strong emphasis on biblical knowledge. As a young child, I remember having to memorize Scripture passages in order to earn gold stars that were affixed next to my name on a Sunday School chart. And while I am all for knowing God’s Word, knowledge alone will never lead to passion. Knowledge only has power when it is plugged into our hearts.
Jesus did not instruct us to love the Lord our God with all our mind and with all our mind and with all our mind. His great commandment to us is to love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind (Matt. 22:37, NIV). We are to love Him with all of our being. In other words, we are to love Him the way He loves us.
The Bible is God’s love letter to His kids. Throughout Scripture, we are reminded over and over again that we are God’s children, that He loves us, that we matter deeply to Him. But for us to live with passion and experience the freeing, exuberant, abundant lives that our God wants us to have, God’s truth must be more than head knowledge. It is only when God’s words of truth travel a few inches south and infiltrate our hearts that they will begin to incubate. It is in our hearts that our thoughts are intertwined with feelings. When that happens, our beliefs become convictions.
It is not enough to know about God’s love for us. Truth becomes tangible when we experience it in our hearts.