Soul is a difficult word to define because it is so often used interchangeably with spirit. Soul is the word we use to describe the immaterial part of ourselves. In Luke 12:27, the Hebrew word used for soul is psyche, from the root word psycho which means “to breathe”. It is the breath of God that gives us life so that is what we’ll refer to as soul—it is our life, our innermost being.
Matthew Henry says that loving the Lord with all your soul means you love Him with an entire love, meaning, “He must have our whole souls and must be served with all that is within us. We must love nothing besides Him, but what we love for Him and in subordination to Him.” In simpler terms, when you love God with your life you love what He loves and you hate what He hates.
When you live for loving God, you become transformed (Romans 12:2). Transformation happens by the renewing of our minds, and there is no other way to do that than to saturate our minds with the things of God. To be transformed is to have everything you experience in your life related to your love for God. What you feel is grounded in God, the decisions you make are grounded in God, what you choose to think about is grounded in God, and what you want to pursue is grounded in God. Realizing this in your life can be done by reading the Bible, listening to Christian radio, reading inspirational books, and surrounding yourself with people strong in the faith. By choosing the things of God over the things of the world, the Holy Spirit works this transformation in you.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is in learning how to make choices that don’t compromise godly convictions. Convictions aren’t merely the things we do or don’t feel ok about getting away with. Convictions are an unshakable belief in something that is bigger than you. When God’s Word tells us to do or not to do something there is no room for debate. The convictions the Bible teaches us to have are not open for interpretation but are a blueprint for our lives. The truth of the matter is that the gradual compromise of these godly standards is a sure way to stop loving what God loves.
These are some of the ways the Bible teaches us to love God with our lives: honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12), keep the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), let no corrupt word come from your mouth (Ephesians 4:29), do not get drunk (Ephesians 5:18), put others before yourself (Matthew 22:39), encourage each other in godliness (Hebrews 3:13), give thanks to God in everything (Colossians 3:17). These are the types of things that characterize a life that is loving God.
Challenge yourself today. The next time you’re with your friends be extra conscious of the things you do and say and weigh them against the Word of God. How you live is your choice and today you can CHOOSE to love God with your life.