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Fear, Walk, Love, Serve

Journal Entry // May 21, 2022

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 10:12 ESV

What does the Lord require of me?

And how am I to do this? With all my heart and soul.

These four seem somewhat at odds with each other. I am to fear the Lord, but at the same time I am to love him. I am to love him, but I am also to serve him. For me, these are not in juxtaposition with each other, they are simply different descriptions of the same requirement.  These are the characteristics of a man that is humble and full of faith.

The key focus for me this morning is the phrase, “with all your heart and with all your soul.” This is the simplicity of faith in Christ. There can be no half-hearted attempts at following Jesus. There cannot be any double-mindedness. I cannot say that I fear, walk, love, and serve the Lord unless I am doing this with all my heart and soul. Meaning that I am giving every ounce of myself to this directive.

Unfortunately, I fall so very short of this requirement. I let the worries of this world trouble me. I let myself delve into sin and seek control of my life. I worry about so much that is not really important in the kingdom of God. I let my pride and arrogance bubble up from my heart. I see the things of this world and I find myself longing for them. I push back against the good plan that God has for me and I want to follow my own plan.

This is my continued frustration in life. I keep pushing back against this simple life of fear, walk, love, and serve. I want to give my heart and soul to this requirement, but I continue to find myself drifting. I continue to find myself lured away. How can I keep myself on this true and righteous path of requirement? I think it is the same as what the Lord told the Israelites when they were about to enter the promised land and gave them this requirement. They must utterly remove all the despicable practices of the nations before them lest they are lured away from following the Lord with all their heart and soul.

This is the same for me… I must eradicate sin and darkness from my heart. I cannot make peace with the evil and wickedness that infiltrates my heart. No, I must fight against sin and darkness with all my energy and effort. I must fight in my weakness! I am too weak to fight sin in my heart. I am too easily swayed to give in. I need humility… I need the strength of the Lord to fight for me. Only Jesus is strong enough to eradicate the sin and darkness from my heart. So in humble reliance I trust the Lord to fight this fight for me and to rid the darkness from my heart. Only he is able.

This is the key to it all. To love the Lord with all my heart and soul is to be humble. I need to embrace my weakness. I need to come honestly before Christ and lay before him all my weakness and failure. He is gentle and forgiving. He is steadfast in his love for me. He will forgive. He will strengthen. He will fight to eradicate sin from my heart. It will take time. It will hurt. It will seem unending. It will be laborious. But it is essential.

Fear, walk, love, serve… This is the calling to my heart and soul. This is the presence of Christ in me. Lord Jesus, continue to teach me the goodness of this requirement and strengthen me for the valleys and humble me for the peaks. Keep my eyes focused intently on you and you alone. May I praise your name with my every breath.

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