Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your
I was recently watching a podcast (sound weird because you listen to podcast, right?) and the podcaster mentioned a song by Israel Houghton, “Go Back” (to your First Love). And he made a statement about remembering just how in love he was with God prior to marrying his wife. It reminded me of this verse in Revelations.
I often long for the intensity of the Love I had for God when I first really got to know who He was and how powerful He was in my Life. I will be honest; the intensity of my Love then is different now than it is now. However, the magnitude is not, I believe it is because of the journey of our relationship. OK because that sounds crazy let’s give an example, when I fell in love with my wife the intensity of our love for each other was extreme, but the magnitude was minimal because we were still figuring each other out, trying to learn who each other were. However, now after 18 years together; the ups, the downs, the highs, and the lows. The tenderness, the hurts, the joys, the pains; the intimacy and the frustration; it has all worked together to significantly increase magnitude but at times damage the intensity. I love my wife way more now than I did then; because I know her, I know the sacrifices she’s made, the love she’s shown the joy she brings the forgiveness she’s given. I also know the hurts she’s caused the painful words that were said and the actions that have caused anger; and I’ve done the same and more to her. All this experience wrapped up together significantly strengthens the magnitude and appreciation of our love for each other but the intensity ebbs and flows.
John reminds us as he pens what the Angel of the Lord spoke to the church in Ephesus. They’ve done great overall, but the one thing against them, was “that you have left your first love ….” they’ve lost the intensity of their love, the focus, the complete surrender to Jesus Christ. How does this happen? That’s easy the focus that was placed on Jesus was shifted somewhere else. Like in a marriage, the focus of loving your spouse at some points selfishly shifts to yourself. The actions that use to be taken to ensure the other was loved sometimes shifts as a means of self-preservation, to take care of what you feel to be unmet needs. Now the intensity in which you’ve loved in the past, diminishes and begins to ooze back unto you. It is the same with Jesus, we often loose focus on Him and place it on ourselves whether it’s problems that arise,
desires we seek after, hurts/scars that we have not dealt with. Whatever it is, causes the intensity to diminish.
When this happens, we cannot work to get it back because that would be our imperfect blood and sweat attempting to accomplish something only God can. Instead, we must wholly trust and believe in the righteous of Jesus. Focusing on His sweat and His Blood that was shed to cover all of our failures, short comings and lack of intensity. We cannot read enough, pray enough or fast enough (although each can assist our areas of focus) to regain that intensity for our First Love. However, as we change our focus away from ourselves and back to Jesus our faith will increase, we will experience the presence of God more and gain His peace that will surpass everything we understand on our own.
I don’t know about you, but I miss my First Love and want to “Return.” Just like the experiences my wife and I have shared requires renewed focus, engagement, and belief in one another to increase the intensity of the Love we share. We also need to get help, seek wisdom and guidance from someone who understands restoration. Counseling will definitely help in this and though I highly recommend it for everyone; I’m talking about going to the One who restored each of us to a righteous relationship with God our Father. The One who took all of the focus off of Himself and went to the cross to deliver us from the Hell and destruction that we absolutely deserve. Jesus has the answers we need!! Therefore, I plan to focus on Jesus, His righteousness, His sacrifice and His Love for me. As I do, the Bible reminds me that He will “make your way strait.” That way or that road leads straight back to Our First Love; Jesus.