by: Clayton King, Founder + Evangelist + Author
Something very special happened on May 1, 1999. On that sunny spring afternoon, without a cloud in the sky and a perfect 70 degrees, I married my wife. At the end of my vows, I said something to the effect of, "No matter what happens to us, from this day forward, I am with you, heart and soul." It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? But it's more than a catchy phrase. There's a deep and rich meaning behind it.
In Joshua 22:5, the leader of the children of Israel gives instruction to the nation and reminds them to be careful to keep the law of the Lord. Joshua tells them to, "Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold fast to him and serve him with all your heart and all your soul."
As a leader, Joshua was drilling down the importance of giving your whole heart to God. This concept goes back to the book or Deuteronomy where the Israelites were told to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. The point is simple, yet profound; if God has all of your heart and soul, then he has all of you: every single part. Your emotions, your affection, your fears and dreams and loyalty...they all originate and reside in your heart. And we all intuitively know that the heart is more than a muscle that pumps blood. It is actually the core of who you are, the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23).
Fast forward more than 1,000 years and Jesus is echoing the words of Joshua when asked a question by a religious leader. They wanted to know, out of all 600+ commandments the Jews had to follow, which one was the most important? Jesus cut through the clutter and confusion and focused not on behavior or rules, but on the heart. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matt. 22:37) Jesus simplified a very complicated issue by going straight to the heart.
This is a pretty big deal. It's a theme that runs throughout the scripture. The heart is what counts the most. It's where love originates. It's the part of us that's broken when we're betrayed or abandoned. It fuels our life; our desires and disappointments and relationships. That is why we chose "Heart and Soul" as our theme this year for Crossroads Summer Camp.
We want to dig beneath the noise and hype of today's youth culture and get to the heart. We want to cut through the chaos and distraction of a generation that's connected online while desperately needing love and acceptance, and bring attention to the most essential part of what makes us human. Our soul is where Jesus lives. Our hearts are where we love God and where we receive His love for us. Do our hearts really give God the highest place of importance? Are our souls really satisfied with earthly pursuits and momentary pleasures? Or is there something more? Something eternal?
CS Lewis said that our inability to find pleasure for our souls in the things of this world means that our souls were created for another world altogether. St. Augustine said that our souls are restless until they find their rest in God .That is our pursuit this summer at Crossroads Camp. We're digging deep, down to the heart and soul...