[ Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ]
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul (thirst, desire, being)
and with all your strength.”
“Frequently nepes means man in his ardent desire, which is like the parched longing of the man who is dying of thirst. This is how the nepes thirsts (Psalm 42)—that is to say the longing desire for the living God felt by author of the lament. The Deuteronomic command to love Yahweh with the whole of the nepesh (Deut. 6:5) means accordingly the man should carry the whole living force of his wishes and all his longing desire into his love for the one God of Israel.
—From Anthropology of the Old Testament by Hans Walter Wolff
Wolff gives A TON of great insight into this “living being” we were created to be. This idea, as he says is that “man does not have a nepesh (soul), he is nepesh (soul), he lives as a nepesh (soul).” Much like the C.S. Lewis quote I ran across. To love God with all of your soul is to love him with your desire. Sometimes that desire seems overwhelming and pushes us in any number of directions for satisfaction but from the beginning God has wanted us to love him with our desire. And this is how he created us! I think in the desert, when we are truly thirsty, when our souls, our desires rage more than ever we come understand this primal desire a bit more forcefully. Because you’re never more thirsty then when you’re in the desert, right!
Here are some slide images of a presentation I gave on this idea a while back...