“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4
It is a heart piercing scripture to say the least.
First Love: Our Future is chapter 6 of my book, If You Love Me Obey. In this book I identify 6 areas in which God wants our obedience. They are : heart, mind, will, body, finances, and future.
This past week, God was speaking the above scripture back into my life. Honestly, I was confused. Last year, God took me on a journey studying this passage and I felt it was so important, the most important, that I ended the book with an entire chapter highlighting it. My thoughts were…”God I spend time with you daily, I seek your voice, your will. How is it that you are speaking this back into my life right now?” I was at a lost to say the least.
Then God directed me to Jeremiah (bookmark that chapter. I am coming back to it). God had appointed the time for me to hear the words. It all started with a conversation I had with my husband at the beginning of the week. On his knees, in front of me, he asked me a series of questions, “Are we giving enough to God? Are we in full surrender? Are we fully abandoned to God? I was puzzled, yet spiritually stirred by his humility and questions. However, I felt confident in my answer, yes! God knows we are.
The week went on, and to say the least it was a tough one! Each day I walked through difficulty. My flesh was weakened, my body and mind was tired and the week ended with a return to this scripture ” I know your works, your labor, your patience,… you have preserved and have patience, and have labored for my name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore where you have fallen, repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place-unless your repent. Revelations 2: 2-5 NKJV.
By the end of the week, God had clearly showed me that I had gotten out of balance again. The word do in this passage grabbed me. It had become the sin in my life. Too much doing and not enough obedience had gotten me out of balance. God dosen’t want our service, He wants our surrender in every aspect of our life. I knew what needed to be done. I know the obedience that needs to be applied to our life, for goodness sake, I had written a book about it, but little did I know that my greatest lesson was still to come.
God began to speak to me through a devotional reading titled: Cleanse the Sanctuary. It read. “You have gone in your own ways and have not paused to take inventory. (I forgot to take inventory) Return unto me and I will restore you. For you will walk in newness of heart. With a fresh spirit you will now serve me. For I will revive thee, bless thee, and pour out my Spirit upon thee, and you will know that it is the Lord.” Now the next part really got me,” With a WHOLE HEART have I commanded that you love me, and that you serve me with UNDIVIDED LOYALTY.
At 3:00 am this morning I awoke and God directed me to Jeremiah. I didn’t know what to do but start at the beginning and just read until God gave me the Word He wanted me to have. And there it was in chapter 3 verse 10, …has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense..The subject of this chapter is a Call to Repentance. This was very painful for me to read. The word pretense by definition means an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true. I immediately repented to God and asked Him to make me understand. Now, there was a story being told in this chapter in regards to such sharp words. I knew God was not telling me that my relationship with Him was in pretense, but it was clear to me that God was trying to awaken me to something. The chapter goes on to repeat the words..”And you have not obeyed my voice”
The Holy Spirit prompted me to my journals and to re read chapter 6 in my book, First Love: Our Future. After doing these things. It became clear to me. I had written the words, “we are accountable to God. He knows what is best. He knows the purpose and plans He has for you. You must walk in it. It may be painful, but joy will come.”
Well the pain, I was feeling from reading these scriptures was evident, The pain I walked through this past week was evident, but God promises that joy will come, if we are obedient. In my journal, I found entries reading ” Lord, my shriveled soul needs an infusion of hope and love.” The Holy Spirit replied,” For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” Jeremiah 31:25
Another journal entry: “Lord, what does my future hold?” Then the words were written, There is a greater need of spiritual discipline. As I require more from you, I will require more of you.” And there it was, (WHOLE HEART, UNDIVIDED LOYALTY). This is why I was screaming for balance. As God was progressing my work, I needed to increase my time with HIM! What has fed my soul before, will not do anymore. For as much as the Lord requires of us, much more will He require from us. God had warned me, but I had forgotten, and by forgetting and not applying, I had become disobedient. Which is why God was telling me I had forgotten my first love. All of it made sense now.
To sum all of this up, God is showing me changes that I must make in order to accomplish His will for my life. Time with Him means applying more time to every aspect of my life. For the things ahead of me, I will require a greater portion of the Holy Spirit. It will require a greater portion of balance in my heart, mind, will, body, finances, and future. I believe God wants to do greater things through me and my family, so I will press on towards the things ahead in obedience and do what the Lord requires of me in a greater way. I will maintain a teachable attitude so the Lord can teach me everything I need to know. We are going to have us a good ole’ time, Me and Jesus! I am in the obedient church! “I know your works, See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it, for you have a little strength, have kept my Word, and have not denied my Name.” Revelation 3:8
I believe God wants to do greater things through you and your family too! As we sacrifice and give God more of us (which is what He wants more than anything) He will give us a greater measure of His love. His love cast out all fear. ” Fear paralyzes us. Fear quenches the Spirit. It keeps us from reaching our greatest potential.” If You Love Me Obey Me.
God is all powerful and full of majesty and though He could show us those characteristics, He would rather show us His love. So it is fitting to end this blog, with these words. Freedom and Purpose comes from the obedience of knowing God more, loving God more, as He pours His love in us! Nothing or no one can replace it. He must remain our First Love!
In Deeper Love and Obedience,