I was there at the beginning when he experienced “new birth” … My friend had a powerful, life-transforming experience with the Lord! At the outset, his walk with the Lord was characterized by passionate love, devoted service and faith that simply trusted the Lord with fearless abandon. The Christian life for my friend was one grand, exciting adventure.
Then it seemed spiritual weariness began to set it. The adventure of serving the Lord turned into duty. Love was less ardent. Discipleship became simply routine disciplines minus passion. If the truth were told, it appeared following Jesus had become just a little boring…
I thought of my friend this morning as I read this analysis of some believers in a first century church in Ephesus (from Revelation 2:1-5) …
“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil… I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you – you have abandoned the love you had at first (one version simply calls it “first love”!)
I have to admit it – a time or two I have felt I had the telltale symptoms of that spiritual disease! It scares me to death! What can you do if passionless Christianity and mere dutiful discipleship sets in? What’s the remedy for lackluster love for the Lord?
The Great Physician – the Lord Jesus Christ – prescribed three things for believer’s in Ephesus…
REMEMBER … how far you have fallen. Remember what it was like when serving the Lord was more than going through the motions and instead was driven by Spiritual passion and ardent love.
REPENT … turn around, acknowledge your Spiritual malaise to your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, your Savior. Change your mind and heart about serving the Lord. Refuse to settle for loveless Christianity!
RETRACE YOUR STEPS … find out where you got off track, where you “lost it”, when-where-and-why you began to operate on Spiritual autopilot. Do a course correction! In the words of Scripture… “do the works you did at first!”
Don’t be like the guy that knows he’s on the wrong road but keeps on driving, refusing to ask directions, unwilling to acknowledge that things just aren’t right. Serving Jesus is too wonderful – to fulfilling – too filled with miraculous, life-transforming living to simply morph into day-in-day-out, mundane, boring ritual. He said, “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly!” (John 10:10) Don’t settle for anything less!