by Kristen C. Strocchia
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
Though intellect is a part of our whole heart, our mind is that conscious stream of thought, that which holds our focus and demands our attention. So we are to love [an act of will] God with all of our conscious thought, focus and attention.
The world sends us messages both to attract and to elevate the status of our own minds. Our thoughts, focus, and attention have fallen prey to much media research. Most of us can quote commercials or sing jingles, and buy into sale ads for the many unnecessary–yet desirable–products of today. And who hasn’t heard phrases like Get your mind in the game and Mind over matter? On the one hand, the world would like to control the impulses of the human mind, and on the other, it’s telling us that we can elevate our mind over our condition to overcome anything–essentially, mastering our own mind is the key to becoming our own god.
But the Bible tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect,” [Romans 12:2–NLT]. In another version, don’t conform to these worldly thoughts. Don’t give in to their glittery focal points and attention-sucking beacons.
Rather, fix your conscious focus on God.
He alone is All-Knowing. He alone is Wisdom. He alone is Love. He alone is Good. That is why we can and should, “Trust in the Lord with all [our] heart and lean not on [our] own understanding. In all [our] ways acknowledge Him, and He will make [our] paths straight,” [Proverbs 3:6–ESV]. Yeah, it’s like those crazy trust games where someone gets to direct a blindfolded-somebody-else through an obstacle course, but by faith–absolute certainty in what we hope for, but can’t see–God is the only One truly able to see what will happen if… Who else would you trust to call the shots?
Are your conscious thoughts devoted to God? Are your focus and attention daily fixed on Him alone?