Even though we can have wonderful experiences with God, it is possible for our love to grow cold. What is the key to a flourishing "first love" relationship with the Lord? Keep Reading…
God's word to the Ephesian church - Revelation 2:4-5 - Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
From Ephesians 3:14-21, we realize that the love of God is meant to be experienced with our heart, soul, mind and strength. The Ephesian church experienced this rich love of God. They saw his power at work first-hand. Yet, they ended up forsaking their first love. How does something like this happen?
Love grows cold gradually. It is not in one event that we forsake our first love. When other objects of affection grab our attention… when we allow other loves to vie for first place… that's when our love begins to cool off. It is our patterns of living that stoke the first love fires or tend to put it out. As love grows cold, a numbness begins to set in. Our life with God is manageable, nice, even orderly. But, the first love fire is only flickering.
How can you keep the Lord as your first love? Revelation 2:5 says to "repent and do the things you did at first." First, recognize the Spirit's conviction if you have abandoned your first love. Speak out your repentance and your commitment to turn from fractured living (giving your love away in many places). Now, think about how you acted toward God when you first realized your love for him. Perhaps you have never been "in love" with God. But, you would understand that two people in love can't get enough of each other. They are not stingy with time or resources. Nothing is a chore for them when it comes to other person.
To kindle a "first love" relationship with the Lord, we need to establish new patterns. We create habits of distraction with our phones, entertainment and endless work. It is in all of these "small moments" of life that love is kindled or snuffed out. Choose to get rid of patterns of distraction. Perhaps uninstall certain apps on the phone. Make a commitment not to check your emails, work schedule or news sites until you have spent time loving your Lord.
Prioritize showing love to the Lord in active worship, earnestly listening to his voice, and studying his words in the Bible. This time spent will fan into flame your love. It will ensure a "first love" relationship with the Lord.
Ask God to reveal to you if he is your first love. If you feel that your love is divided, confess that to him. Repent and do the things that a person "in love" would do. Spend more time (including the "in-between" times) with him more than anyone or anything else. Don't wait for a feeling of love to kick in. Reorganize patterns of your life to make showing your love to God your top priority. The experience of being "in love" will follow.
Missionary. Teacher. Worship Leader. Deeply desiring to make God's Word accessible and understandable to all. May you be transformed as God's Word fills your life.
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