Ahavat YAHUAH (Love YAHUAH)
YOU SHALL LOVE YAHUAH YOUR ELOHIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART, BEING, AND MIGHT
The First Great Command as written in the Torah (Deb. 6:4-5):
Shema Yisrael: YAHUAH Eloheynu, YAHUAH Echad.
Ve'ahavta et YAHUAH Eloheykha b'khol-l'vav'kha, uv'khol naf'sh'kha, uv'khol m'odekha.
“Hear, O Yisra’el: YAHUAH our Elohim, YAHUAH is One!
And you shall love YAHUAH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.”
Love is a feeling, an emotion, and without experiencing it, it is difficult to understand completely. We will do our best to explain this command, to try to describe the love for Elohim, and show the path to obtain that kind of love. Only keep in mind that this command is not intellectual; therefore, our minds are limited in comprehending it. This command involves a feeling, an emotion, and only when we experience it within us will we fully comprehend it.
How can YAHUAH command us to ‘feel’ something? You can command an action, certain behavior, but can you make someone feel something? In truth, our being already loves the Father. We are created in His likeness, in His image, and we are His children. We are a part of Him. Love for Elohim is already within us. We don’t feel it like we should because we have too many blockages in the way. Too many walls within us stop the flow of His love from our innermost being. So, then, the first and great command actually commands us to bring out that love that is already within us and increase it.
What does it mean to love YAHUAH with all our heart, being, and might?
Love for YAHUAH (Ahavat YAHUAH) is a progression, a growth. YAHUAH already planted a seed of love within us because we are His children, and He is our Father. The first thing we do to get that seed to grow is to ask the Father. Ask the Father to increase your love for Him. Ask Him to give you the gift of love to love Him with. If we ask sincerely, He will do it.
Our part is to seek His Face diligently. If we desire something, we will seek after it. If we’re hungry, we seek food; thirsty, we seek drink. If we desire to learn something, we seek it out—we do research, go to school, take lessons, etc. Whatever we desire, we find a way to get it.
So too with the Father. We must seek Him. Read His word daily. Study His commands. Learn of YahuShuah — His ways and His words as written in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ex. Thanksgiving Hymns). He will show us to the Father. Pray diligently every day. The key is diligence. We cannot tire in seeking Him. If we tire, our love will not grow.
The more we seek YAHUAH, the more we learn of Him, then the more we’ll understand Him. The more we know and understand Him, then the more our heart will desire Him. As we learn of Him, we begin to understand His greatness, His magnificence, His goodness, His favor, His kindness, His mightiness, His strength, His righteousness! We understand that YAHUAH is Elohim! There is no one else!
We exist only because He wills it and desires it. We are here only because of His goodness. We awake each morning only because out of all the affairs of the universe which He maintains, YAHUAH looked upon us and restored our being and opened our eyes. How great an Elohim is He!
When we understand this, we greatly appreciate YAHUAH and thank Him and esteem Him because He has given us life and sustains us. All that we are and all that we have is only because of Him. This appreciation and thankfulness brings us to the first level of love for Elohim: b’khol l’vav’kha (with all your heart). We will begin to desire Him because without Him, we are nothing. We will desire Him because we realize that it is pointless to desire anything else, for He is the Source of all good things.
Our heart and all our mind go together. Usually, whatever we think about (positively), we begin to desire; and whatever we desire, we think about. So we love Him with all our mind when our thoughts are continually focused on Him—how to please Him and obey Him. When we study and think on Him, we'll desire Him.
The more we seek after YAHUAH, the more our love for Him grows. We continue in our diligence to learn of YAHUAH, and we increase in our obedience to walk in His ways. We obey His commands, His Torah. As we obey, our behavior changes. We become more set-apart. Sinful ways cease. We obey His commands. We do more of His will. We begin to deny the ways of the flesh in order to please the Father. We deny our self and follow Him—nullifying our will to promote His will.
The more we walk in His way, then the more we experience Him in our life. We experience His Presence more; we feel His love more; we hear His voice more. Our love for Him continues to grow, but now it’s a greater love. It’s not a love simply based on what He’s done for us. It’s a greater love, an unconditional love that has no solidified reason behind it. We just love Him. Even if everything He’s given us was taken away, we’d still love Him.
Because this greater love is not based on a reason (it’s unconditional), we will give our life for Him. Our being loves Him so much that we would give it up—give up our nefesh, our soul—before we deny Him. This is the second level of love: uv’khol naf’sh’kha (and all your being).
If we reach this second level of love, we do well, but to be fulfill the command, we must go further - continuing in our learning of the Father, continuing in our walk with Him to obey His word and walk in His way. The third level of love requires testing of our diligence and endurance. It involves denying our self follow YAHUAH above all else. Follow Him through whatever trials He places before us and overcome in Him. We no longer live for our self, we live for Him. This third level is: uv’khol m’odekha (with all your might).
The first meaning of uv’khol m’odekha is to love YAHUAH with all that He has blessed us with, all of our resources and all of our possessions. This seems easy next to giving our life for Him, but for some people, possessions are more precious than life. Just think of how many people commit suicide when all their money is lost. When we love YAHUAH uv'khol m'odekha, we will give up everything to serve Him and walk in His way and accomplish His will. All our possessions are matters of naught.
A deeper meaning of uv’khol m’odekah: The Hebrew word “m’odekah” comes from the root word “meod,” which means ‘very.’ To love YAHUAH with all your might—uv’khol m’odekha—means to love Him VERY much. How much? VERY MUCH! It is an unlimited love. It has no boundaries—it goes beyond the blessings in our life; it goes beyond our physical existence. There is no limit to this kind of love. It is a love that is beyond our self—we cannot make ourselves feel this love. YAHUAH births this deep love for Him within us when we have endured through the trials and obstacles. When we reach this level of love, we will forsake all for Him—all that we have and all that we are—our possessions and our life—for the esteem of His Name.
Very few reach this level of love for YAHUAH, and it is only in experiencing it that we can truly understand it. Yet, we know this love is possible. So we start where we are and begin to diligently seek His face so our love will grow and blossom within us until love is perfected.
Another aspect of love for YAHUAH is to make Him known to all mankind. When we love a person, we speak about that person all the time. We tell others just how good this person is and try to get others to see this person’s good and feel the same way and speak the same praises. That’s how we should be with Elohim. We have to express our love for Him to others. Cause Him to be beloved in the eyes of others.
Abraham is a good example of this. He understood YAHUAH and loved Him deeply. He called others to believe and worship YAHUAH as well. When he left Haran, he took with him all that he had and the “beings whom they had acquired” (Ber/Gen. 12:5). Others came to know and love YAHUAH through Abraham, and they too set out for Kena’an.
When we love YAHUAH, we have to draw others. Those who do not know YAHUAH, we tell them about YAHUAH. Those who are distant from Him, we help them to draw closer. Those who don’t understand Him, we give them knowledge and help them understand.
How do I love YAHUAH with all my heart, and with all my being, and with all my might?
1Ch 16:11 Seek YAHUAH and His strength, Seek His face continually!
Psa 27:8 To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, YAHUAH, I seek.
Psa 105:4 Seek YAHUAH and His strength; Seek His face always.
As said before, our being already has a seed of love for YAHUAH within us. We must break down all blockages and walls and then grow in love for the Father. Pray for YAHUAH to remove all blockages, break down walls, remove impediments and stumbling blocks from before you so you can feel and experience His love. Pray that YAHUAH will guide you on the right path as you diligently search for Him. Pray for diligence and steadfastness. Pray that the love for the Father increases within you.
Then, begin to seek His Face. “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart,” (Deb. 6:6). This is how we begin to increase our love for the Father: through His Word. Commit yourself to reading and studying His word daily. (Be careful that your time is not consumed with only reading what other people say about His word.) The more we study His word, then the more knowledge we’ll have of Him. With more knowledge comes more understanding of Who He is. With more understanding of Him, our being will begin to rejoice in Him, in His greatness and His goodness, and that rejoicing will burst forth into love for the Father.
Seek His face continually. Study His word, and obey. Whatever command you learn, walk in it. Do your best to live in set-apartness, in righteousness, in love for our neighbor, without sin, and in complete dedication to the Father.
Pray daily. Take a few moments each day to just think about Who YAHUAH is and how Great He is. Then, praise Him. Tell Him of His greatness and His love and His compassion and His strength and His righteousness! Read praises from Scripture aloud. Give thanks continually for any and every good thing around you.
Share YAHUAH with others. Tell others about Who He is and how great a Father He is. Make Him known among the people and make Him beloved in the eyes of others.
In all of this: stick to it—be diligent and steadfast. Remember it takes time for a seed to grow. Do not grow weary, continue seeking Him. Pray for His strength.