Every now and then a theme of a particular Truth appears, and reappears, and reappears again in different ways and in different avenues. In this particular case, the Truth was loving God wholeheartedly – the avenues, a Bible study, a book by a completely different author, and a sermon by the pastor of my church.
Nothing is coincidence and nothing is left up to chance – so let’s just identify what, or rather who, the Avenue of Truth really is.
The Avenue of Truth is the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is our Holy Reminder that we desperately need God. And He aligns certain messages to speak to us in different ways. Sometimes the multiple reminders is God making a point, to convict so He can redeem and restore – other times maybe He wants to bring something to light in a whole new way. Whatever the reason, it reveals two things to me:
- God is actively involved in our lives and knows the exact state of our spiritual lives, or lack thereof
- He is determined to reach and woo His people to know Him more intimately
Whenever I experience these Holy Avenues, I always know God is trying to get my attention to reveal something to me. It’s almost as if God says: “Maybe this will get her attention (convict her, touch her heart, woo her towards Me)” And if that one thing/avenue doesn’t, He’s already a step ahead with three other Holy Avenue reminders lined up for me to discover in the ultimate purpose of discovering Him.
This particular Holy Reminder was how God wants His people to love Him with their whole hearts.
In Hosea, God grieves Israel’s lack of wholehearted devotion. His own people had a love for Him that was half-hearted and double-minded. They were like “half-baked cakes” (Hosea 7:8). They loved Him when they wanted to and cried out to Him with equal petitions to their false gods.
God states: “They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts” (Hosea 7:14).
In other words, they did not love God with their whole hearts. Just as God saw Israel’s heart, He sees our hearts. He knows when we put up a pretense with Him, when we have falseness in our souls. We can fool everyone else, even ourselves – but God knows us better than we know ourselves and still loves us despite our very selves.
He desires our whole hearts. Like a lover, He wants our affection and attention as the Lover of our Souls.
“My son (daughter), give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways” (Proverbs 23:26)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26)
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart” (Jeremiah 24:7)
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
“‘Even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart'” (Joel 2:12)
As long as we live on this earth, there will be a battle for our whole hearts. It’s easy to give parts of your heart to God, the parts you deem He could be trustworthy.
But through His Holy Reminder, He is clear He doesn’t want just the easy parts of our hearts. He desires all our hearts.
- Even the ugly
- Even the broken
- Even the fears
- Even the parts hidden deep in the dark
How can we truly have a “clean heart” (Psalm 51:10), a pure heart, a “heart made of flesh and not stone,” if we only give Him the areas where we think He can be trusted, the other half is full of the world and its double-minded ways.
Maybe when we deem Him trustworthy of all our hearts and when we choose to love Him more than the world in our hearts, when we love Him wholeheartedly, we will come to see Him, to know Him, to experience Him in a fresh way – a way we’ve never done before – a way He intended for us to know Him.
- God wants our loyal love.
- God wants our steadfast love.
- God wants us to wholly love Him.
- God wants to be our one desire.
Because how can we truly love anyone else, if we don’t learn to love the Giver of Love first and foremost?
I want a heart rendered to the King. A heart that is not swayed by double-minded ways and half-hearted worship. Jesus, He deserves it all. He deserves my all. He’s the only one worthy of all – the only one trustworthy of all.
And maybe, just maybe when we trust Him and love Him with our whole hearts, when we sell out to His extravagant grace and scandalous love – He will put a passion deep in our bones, heal our hearts and make them whole to love fully, completely.
A heart sold out. A heart set free. A heart rendered. A heart abandoned. A heart that belongs securely, wholeheartedly, sealed in the hands of the one who lovingly created it, mercifully bought it back, tenderly healed it, graciously made it new. A heart that is Home.
“Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it | Seal it for Thy courts above” (“Come Thou Fount”)