And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Luke 10:27
What is the soul? The actual definition depends on the person giving it, but we do know from Scripture that when God breathed into man, he became a living soul. Because of this verse, many believe that the soul refers to the inward spirit of man, that distinguishing feature that separates man from the animals. The soul is the part of man that continues to live after the physical body is laid to rest. So what did Jesus mean when He said to love God with all the soul?
If we view the soul as the inward spirit, we take it that our inmost being should desire to serve God. Paul talks about the carnal man, the one who follows the ways of the flesh rather than the ways of the Spirit. When Christ tells us to love the Lord with all our Soul, He is telling us that our inward spirit is to be drawn to Christ. We do not obey the rules just because we don’t want to take the consequences of being caught. We obey the rules because we want to do right. We don’t bring an offering or tithe because it is our duty, but we bring our gifts to the Lord because we desire to do so. God does not want a people who serve Him as robots, without a will or desire in their actions, but He wants people who desire to be in His presence and to fellowship with Him. Our inmost being, our soul, is drawn to Him. The psalmist put it, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. Psalm 42:1 When we serve the Lord with our soul, we are serving Him out of the inmost desire to please and glorify Him.