“12 So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only 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, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being.”
‘here is a kaleidoscope of virtues – fear the Lord your God, which means to make the Lord the person in your life you least want to offend; walk in his ways, which means that the parameters of your life are defined by the ways of God; love him, which means that the affection of your heart is set on him; serve him, which means that use to which you put your energies and resources, your time your money your imagination, your concentration, your ambition, all of it at the interests of the Lord at their center; and to keep his commandments, which is the matter of straightforward obedience – they all belong together – fear/walk/love/serve/keep, they blend into one another, and merge together and define one another, a bit like our slide. We might be tempted to hold them apart – you can’t both fear someone and love them – and yet, there is something about the Lord that means that both fearing and loving is exactly right, and that to do one without the other would be like playing a major chord with too many minor notes; and likewise, you might be tempted to put love for the Lord and keeping his commandments in pretty separate compartments, as though it were a quite different sort of thing to love God from keeping his commandments. But for Moses, they all belong together, these virtues; they make a perfect harmony, so that to miss one out is to be sadly lacking.
hear this, won’t you – what God wants from you is nothing less than the totality of who you are – all your personality, your character, the affection of your heart, the worship of your soul, the loyalty of your love, the ambition of your strength – all of it, nothing more, nothing less. This is the great point of contrast to the religion which speaks to you of all the bits of your life – what you eat and wear and say etc, but not of the integrated you that is at the center of it all. And God wants that, the ‘you’ that is at the center.’