Deuteronomy 30:9–14 (NRSV)
Verse 9and the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, Verse 10when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Verse 11Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. Verse 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?" Verse 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?" Verse 14No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
In 1939, Larry Clinton made “Heart and Soul,” a popular love song composed by Hoagy Carmichael, into a No. 1 hit. It speaks of giving yourself totally to another in love, “head over heels.”
Deuteronomy talks about following God’s commandments fully—giving God our all. We do this not to gain God’s love for us, but because by God’s saving grace we are able to live full lives under God’s guidance.
The dictionary definition of “heart and soul” is “without reservations, completely, or wholly.” That is difficult to do when we have competing loyalties. But when our lives are centered upon God’s word, it is not as difficult. As Paul says in Romans 10:9, we have this assurance: “Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Lord, help me to keep my heart and soul centered on you. Amen.