Why do we stumble in our Journey of Love with the Lord? Ever felt that your relationship with God has gone cold, does not hold your attention as it once did? God describes this heart condition in Rev 2:4 (AMP)
“But I have this (one charge to make) against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first (you have deserted me, your first love).”
This charge was written by God against the church of Ephesus. In this passage in Revelation it is a picture of the hearts of God’s modern church today. However, in the same chapter, God also commends this church for the following:
- They worked hard for the Lord and persevered in this work in difficult circumstances
- They resisted sin and critically examined the claims of false prophets;
- They endured great hardship and never became weary, they were good believers;
- They were good examples to fellow Christians and
- Every church needs members like these.
So, it is possible to work hard for the Lord and behave like exemplary Christians. However, the work of these Ephesians did not spring from a motivation of love for Christ. It no longer motivated their work. There is a subtle difference, one which other people would not immediately notice because from the outside they were good examples to other believers, but God looked at their hearts.
Not so long ago, Paul was commending the church of Ephesus in Ephesians 1:15, thanking the Lord for the fact that they loved God and loved other people. Yet now, God accuses them of “forsaking their first love.” In 1 John 3:18-19 we are given a standard for works for the Lord: it must have the motivation of love:
First love is…enthusiastic and appreciative of the relationship, it is often more about the enthusiasm of loving the person our love is focused on, than actually having a working knowledge of that person.
Over a period of time, this zeal, this passion dies off and is replaced with service, perseverance and endurance. The heart is more often characterized by indifference and is not so easily moved. It demonstrates in a lack of compassion and over time, a lack of the confidence in the relationship we once had with God. (Hebrews 10:32-35)
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”
The question we all have to ask ourselves is this: “Do I still love God with the same passion I had when I first became a believer?”
The truth is friend, losing our first love, does not suddenly come about us. It comes gradually without one really noticing it. We all remember our first love. First love believes that the one their love is focused on, can conquer all. First love gives itself unselfishly into the relationship. It is so focused on the object of love that all other things are insignificant and it longs to join hearts to “beat as one” with the one it is focused on.
First love, does not function like old love. There is passion. God wants us to have a love for Him of the quality of first love.
Father I confess that the zeal, or passion of my love for You has become a little jaded. No longer do I feel as passionate about You as I once did. I didn’t realise that it had become so cool between us. Please forgive me for forgetting who it is I am in Love with and help me to be restored to You as my First Love.
In the next post, I will share how to go about renewing this first love. Why not read other posts in this series: