Love God With All Your Strength
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
The last portion of Mark 12:30 commands us to love God with all our strength. This means we are to love God practically with our physicality, our energy, and our efforts. A reading of the verse makes it clear that Jesus had a specific order in mind when it came to loving Him. It begins with our inner man (heart/soul/mind), but always should make it’s way to our outer man (strength). What we symbolize with baptism we should live out in loving God with our strength. What’s going on inside of us should impact what’s going on externally.
Often, we mistakenly compartmentalize our lives and love for God. We separate what we deem as spiritual from physical. This typically will be prayer, Bible study, and worship in the spiritual column while good works, service, and effort fall into a different column. Romans 12:1 should do away with this notion. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that offering our bodies to God (loving Him with our strength) is a spiritual act of worship. Yes, what happens on the outside of you is as spiritual as you inner man. For many, this could be a game changer.
This has some important implications. It means how you use and take care of your body is actually very spiritual. Do you trash your temple constantly with bad food, lack of rest, and no physical activity? Do you overemphasize your inner man and completely ignore your body, actions, and behaviors? This is why compartmentalization is so problematic. Everything you do, both inward and outward, matters!
My hope is this truth will inspire you to become more holistic in your approach to your life with God. Don’t fall into the trap of emphasizing one area of your life with God over another. God wants you to love Him completely with all that you are. He created your inner and outer person. Honor Him with both! Pray and read God’s Word, but also exercise and eat healthy food. Both will glorify God greatly. Let the transformation that is happening inside of you begin to tangibly impact what is happening in your outer person. It really is very spiritual.