God Wants My Whole Heart
By: Anne Peterson
And he (Jesus) answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. - Luke 10:27
Remember when you first heard about the Lord? You could not read the Bible enough, and you could hardly wait to get together with other Christians to share the latest thing you learned about God.
You shared the Gospel with others, hoping for opportunities. You didn’t worry about what someone might think of you, you worried about whether they knew Jesus or not. There was an urgency, a purpose in sharing.
In those days, when trials came, you would search the Bible for verses to help you through. You wanted to trust God, so you surrendered everything to him. You were in 100%. God had your whole heart. But somehow, over time, things changed. And the things that had been on the top of your list moved down a little.
Trials seemed heavier. Or somehow you felt less prepared to face them.
Maybe a disappointment weighed you down. Perhaps it was more than one. And that caught you off guard. After all, hadn’t you been close to the Lord? It wasn’t that long ago and you knew you had access to God’s throne room (Hebrews 4:16).
Maybe one disappointment led to another and you started feeling a little less special to God. You started listening to the lies the enemy whispered. Lies like: God doesn’t really care about you. If God cared, you wouldn’t be going through hard times. You started feeling distance between you and God. And your excitement to get into the Bible lessened. Maybe the worries of life or the desires for other things moved in when you weren’t looking, or maybe you outgrew the love you had (Mark 4:19).
In the beginning, you had so many answered prayers. It felt like you had a special connection with God. But it felt less like this when the trials got harder and harder. And memories you had became a little dimmed.
Sometimes all it takes for a rekindling of our love is remembrance. What was it that drew you to God in the first place? Had that changed? No, not at all.
God reached out to you, sending you someone to share about Jesus. You drank in every drop of living water, letting it seep down into your very soul. You learned you were a sinner, and that God loved you enough to send his own Son to die for you (John 3:16). You learned no one else would ever love you like God did (John 15:13).
God forgave all of your sins. He gave you access to heaven by accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made. All you had to do was accept the gift held out to you (Ephesians 2:8-9). And you did just that, grabbing onto it with both hands.
When we feel distant from our Father, it’s something that can be fixed. God didn’t move, we did. All we have to do is call on him. When Peter walked on the water, he did fine till he took his eyes off Jesus (Matthew 14: 28-30). Jesus didn’t shame Peter for slipping down, nor did he reprimand Peter. No. When Peter called out to the Lord, Jesus immediately reached out and lifted him up. And he does the same with us.
God loves us so much, he even knows how many hairs we have on our heads (Luke 12:7). God cares about us. And He’ll never stop caring.
I wonder when it happened, Lord,
this feeling we’re apart.
I know when I first met you,
that I gave to you my heart.
And then my Father showed me
that when trials came my way,
I’d pull my heart back slightly,
a little more each day.
I didn’t want the distance
and knew what I must do;
I handed back my heart to Him,
and all my love anew.
- Anne Peterson
Anne Peterson is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There:Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has also written and published books entitled He Whispers: Poetic talks with God. Sign up for anne’s newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and receive a free eBook by clicking the tab. Or you can connect with her on Facebook.
Want more Your Daily Bible Verse? We also have a podcast! This podcast features different verses than the written devotional you just read, but carries the same commitment to a closer look at Scripture each day. You can find out more by clicking the link below!