I’ve felt for a while that I had drifted away from the intimacy I once shared with the Lord. I’m still steadily involved with good and godly things, and I haven’t gone off the deep end. But I began to take inventory of how I had been spending my time and energy, and I wasn’t too surprised.
In this age of streaming everything, I admitted to myself and some trusted friends that I binge-watch a lot of Netflix. I often stay up super late, which of course doesn’t put me in a great position to get up early and spend any time with Him.
I thought back to twenty years ago when I first gave my life to Christ. It was my joy and delight to sacrifice anything and everything to dig into His Word or spend time in prayer and worship. I still do those things, but they just happen in my car, on the go, hurried and sporadic. I don’t intentionally sit down nearly as much as I used to or create space to sit and simply listen to what He is saying.
I knew this needed to change, and I’m in the beginning of this process of re-cultivating my first love with God.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far 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.
Revelation 2:4-5 (NIV)
Every sermon or song I’ve listened to lately has circled around this Scripture. We, as busy believers, have forgotten our first love. We don’t do it on purpose. We don’t do it because we think our ways are better. Forgetting our first love doesn’t happen overnight. It is a slow fade. It begins with one compromise, with giving in to one distraction. It happens when we give in to our flesh and when we don’t prioritize well.
This has been my life for the past few years. I haven’t prioritized well. I have given in to my flesh. More confessions: along with my extreme binge-watching, I just don’t go to bed at a decent time. Sometimes I struggle with insomnia, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I just find ways to stay up late. My mornings are rushed with getting up and getting ready for work. I used to read and study the Bible on my lunch breaks, but I haven’t been a good steward of that time for a while. More often than not, my fringe hours are spent mindlessly scrolling through social media.
I have been sensing in my spirit that there would be some transitions taking place in multiple areas of my life this year. When transitions occur, we need to be in the best posture of heart to hear His still, small voice and be able to discern when making decisions. So I knew getting still and quiet and prioritizing time with the Lord needed to happen.
Last fall, when I chose a word for the year, it seemed as though every environment I was in was focused on the same thing — wholehearted devotion to the Lord. My word — wholehearted — wasn’t just for me but for the entire church. Perhaps this word is for you as well.
We live such fast-paced lives. We go from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. It has become a familiar cycle of habits we feel powerless to break. Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances or relationships or behaviors that lead us away from Him. We become double-minded in our attention and affections.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NLT)
But the Father is wanting to do a deep and lasting work in us and through us. He is wanting to speak mysteries and revelations to us. He is wanting to encourage the broken around us and to build His Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit’s conviction to return to my first love has been so kind and gracious to me. I pray that you can sense His kindness as well. He convicts us, never to shame us but to make us more like the image of Christ.
I desperately desire to live a life pure in heart, spirit, and motivation. Let us cast off every distraction in our lives so that we can run free and unhindered in the pursuit of Christ.
Do you feel as though you’ve forgotten your first love? What are some distractions you can cut away in order to create more space for time with God?
Let us cast off every distraction in our lives so that we can run free and unhindered in the pursuit of Christ. -@karina268: Click To Tweet