I’ve seen it over and over again: long lines of cars and trucks following a slow driver down our two-lane Startown Road. The lead car turns off and what happens? The next vehicle often maintains the same snail-like pace.
Everyone seems to be slowing down and for one reason: fuel prices! The gas gauge has become a predictor of poverty, an indicator of inadequacy, a sage of scarcity…OK, it’s not that bad, but you get the point.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a continual source of energy available for your vehicle? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a source of energy for your car or truck that would always be available and would never be depleted?
For your vehicle, a continual source does not exist.
For your personal spiritual life, there is an inexhaustible Source.
Life can be challenging and downright difficult at times. You work hard. You want to make progress at school, at your job, in your family, in your personal life but, often, all you seem to accomplish is survival. You can become spiritually, emotionally, and mentally spent. Personal peace is gone, frustration is a constant companion, and joy… “I’ve heard about joy, now what is that again?”
In Revelation 2, Jesus was speaking to the Church in Ephesus: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered 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.’” (Revelation 2:2-4)
The Christians at Ephesus had worked hard; the Lord noted their striving. But there was a problem, a major problem, they had left their first love: Jesus.
Notice that Jesus did not say they had “lost” their first love but they had left or abandoned that love. The Christians had, by choice, intentionally left Jesus – their fellowship with Him. To be sure, they were working hard FOR Jesus, they were persevering in the face of adversity, they were battling evil in their midst, they were doing all the right things church people think they should be doing, but as they labored to rid the church of dirty bath water, they failed to notice the baby splashing around in the bassinet.
Jesus gave them these instructions: “Remember therefore from 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 you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)
It was a warning bearing horrific consequences: the Lord was about to lift His Hand, His Spirit from the church.
Christians desperately need three things: (1) power in the face of sin, sickness and death, (2) direction in the choices you make and (3) true love and fellowship with God the Father and true love and fellowship with people.
Without the Holy Spirit, your life would lack all of these things. Once you have trusted in Christ, if you attempt to live life in your own strength and wisdom, you can be sure your life gauge will register “empty,” your spiritual life will dry up.
Return to your first love, Jesus Christ. He is the only Answer; He is the only Source of strength; He must be your life. Repent, remember where you were when you fell or when you started wandering from Him. Remember how it used to be when you had fellowship with Him, and repeat those things that caused you to grow in Him: read the Bible, spend time with Him in prayer, get to know Jesus again (or, for the first time in some cases), sing praises to Him, think about Him and love Him, witness for Him to others, love and forgive your neighbor and reach out to help others for no personal reason and for no personal gain.
Decide to follow Him, then, actually walk with Him, side-by-side, talk with Him, listen to Him, make Him your number one love in life. Then watch your life and your circumstances change.