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    The Elijah Blessing: An Undivided Heart
    Deborah Brunt
    In the place where Ahab and Jezebel ruled, Elijah loved fiercely and lived fully. As you peek into lives lived long ago, learn how spiritual schizophrenia opens the way for Ahab and Jezebel to rule today. Receive the Elijah Blessing – the blessing of an undivided heart.

    Price:  $5.99

    Also available in other formats from: Amazon.com
    book excerpt

    The moment Elijah appeared on the scene, God affirmed what Elijah testified: this one stood before the face of the LORD. From that place of holy intimacy, everything else in Elijah’s life flowed.

    You, too, be blessed to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5). That is the key to everything else.

    Did you ever try to use a key that should work, but didn’t? That often happens with a copy of the original. To the eye, it seems a match. But the copy key is off just enough that it doesn’t open what it should fling wide.

    Did you ever try to love the Lord with all your heart – but it didn’t seem to work? Try as you might, you couldn’t make it click.

    That often happens when we unwittingly use a copy key. We make an honest effort, but come up empty, because we’ve put our own spin on the words “love” and “heart.”

    To our thinking, we feel with our heart, and think with our mind – and, together, heart and mind comprise the sum total of the “inner person,” the soul. Scripture paints a different picture, one much more complex. Together, the Word and the Spirit reveal us as three-part beings, not just body and soul.

    For example, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says that holiness involves our entire “spirit, soul and body.” Deuteronomy 6:5 commands us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength. The two lists seem to correlate. The third item in each list – “body,” “strength” – speaks of our physical nature. “Soul,” in both lists, does seem to encompass the mind and emotions. But what about the first item on each list – “spirit” and “heart”?

    I’d suggest: They’re parallel too. When we see the word “heart” in Scripture, it can mean the sum total of our person. It can also mean soul and spirit – all the intangible self. Or it can reference the soul alone, or the human spirit alone. Complex, like I said. But here, “heart” refers to something distinct from “soul” and from “strength” (body). It’s the term for the purest essence of who we are. Other verses call that essence, spirit.

    God calls his people to love him with our soul and strength. But we can’t do either until we love him from our spirit first. In 1 Corinthians 6:17, Paul said, “the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (NASU). We’re not “one soul” with God; our spirit is joined to his.

    When God calls us to love him with all our heart, he’s talking about a singleness in yearning toward him that springs from the depths of our innermost being, the part that is one with him. We read those words and think they’re commanding a feeling.

    And so, we try to love the Lord from our souls. Mentally, we try to figure out how to do it. Emotionally, we try to summon up an “all our heart” feeling, an over-the-top fireworks kind of love.

    But we cannot do it. We cannot conjure up such a feeling. We certainly can’t sustain it. The key will not turn in the lock.

    So let’s throw away the copy key.

    Instead of trying to conjure up an emotion, ask God to teach you to respond to him from the deepest essence of who you are. Day after day, stand before his face, and open yourself to him, as fully as you know how. Pray to know him and to honor him – and ask for grace to walk whatever path he takes you in order to accomplish both.

    As your spirit learns to respond freely to Christ’s Spirit, you’ll find yourself impelled by something stronger than emotion and more certain than intellect. The asking will become yearning – a hunger deep in your spirit to know him, a thirst for his name to be hallowed and his kingdom to come.

    Then, to your amazement, your soul will join in. It will echo your spirit-yearnings. Your mind and emotions will participate joyfully in what they could not start. And even when God takes you places that make no sense and where your emotions scream not to go, your spirit will recognize God’s voice, your soul will surrender – and all of you will go with God.

    Be blessed to learn from the One who is love what it means to love him with all your heart and soul and strength.
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