Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My First Love

When did I lose my first love?

It didn't happen overnight; I didn't see it coming. But recently I've found myself feeling extremely homesick for God. Of course, He is always there. But I easily find myself slipping farther away from Him and getting lost in my own world of comfort and self-reliance. Some days I don't think much about Him until I'm crawling under the covers at night and remember to read a few Bible verses as I quickly fade into a deep sleep.

The other day I was at my parents' home and I found my cherished box of old journals hiding under my bed. I sat on the floor of my old room for hours and read through the pages of all 20+ journals while laughing, crying, and marveling at God's hand on my life through the years.

Reading through some of the things I wrote in middle and high school made me miss the faith I had back then. I trusted God completely and had such a pure passion for Him. I wanted more than anything to share His love with others. When I first realized my deep love for God as a young teenager, I couldn't get enough of Him. I would sleep with my Bible tight to my chest every night, wanting to soak up all that I could. I beamed with joy when my friends at school would ask me about my faith, and I didn't care about money or possessions or anything (for the most part :).

I know that the core of me still has those same desires. I still love Jesus so much, but I guess my light just feels a litter dimmer now. As I'm becoming more of an adult, my focus on Jesus has been clouded by the need to make money, get a higher education, make plans for the future, etc. These things are not bad, but I have gradually allowed them to replace my first love without even realizing it.

As I read Revelation 2:1-7 tonight, I was convicted of my sin:
"...I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. You also possess endurance and have tolerated [many things] because of My name, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love [you had] at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place- unless you repent..."

How easy it is to go through the motions of serving God simply out of habit rather than out of love for Him. I want to return to my first love...I will return to Him.

I'm tired of pretending to love God more than I actually do. I'm tired of using empty words with no actions to back them up. I'm tired of intending to spend more time with God, but never following through. And I'm tired of depending on my past experiences to define my relationship with God today.

I desire to have a constant, daily, exciting relationship with the Lord. I want to hunger and thirst for His Word. I want to sit at His feet and marvel at His beauty. I want every breath that I take, every word that leaves my lips, and every dream that I have to glorify God. Even if it means giving up my possessions or my comfort or my reputation. I would rather give up everything than abandon my first love.

Father, forgive me for fading into a state of complacency. "Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit." (Ps. 51:12)