I’m probably the sappiest romantic you will ever meet. I love romantic comedies. I tend to have watery eyes at weddings. I adore happy endings and your typical chick-flicks. I know, all so cheesy, right? But those are all my reactions to anything romantic (teehee!) But when you hear “first love,” there’s a weight that it carries and its place cannot be taken by anything or anyone else. However, I think in the world we live in, things are constantly trying to take that place in our hearts. And that place only belongs to Jesus.
Some of us get so caught up in work or school that it becomes an idol. Others become completely captivated in a relationship and it consumes them. At other times, we begin to just “do” stuff for Jesus that we forget to “be.” We forget the purpose of it all and we lose sight of our first love.
In Revelation, John writes to the church of Ephesus speaking about this exact problem. In chapter 2, he applauds them on their diligence and perseverance. However, he calls them out on something specific. He says to them, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.”
Have you forgotten your first love?
I have to regularly evaluate my heart and ask myself, am I living in a manner in which Jesus truly is my first love? Is He who I live my life for? Do I look to honor Him more than I want approval from my parents and others? Do I desire to spend time with Him? Am I talking to Him more than I talk about Him? These are questions that are so real that I think we often forget about. By no means am I saying that on the days when we fail to open up our Bible or spend hours in prayer that we no longer love Him. But what I am asking is that we introspectively evaluate our heart to see if we desire Him.
It’s like when you’re in a relationship, you desire to spend every moment with that person. You want to talk to them and you hold nothing back because you know they understand you. You desire to be with them and walk through life together. And in a much grander scheme, like bigger than life, that’s how we should desire the Lord. Our love for a person is incomparable to our desire for Jesus. It should reflect, not compare.
But why, why should we even love the Lord this personally and intimately?
So as you look deep into your heart, if you identify areas in your life that Jesus has not been your first love- repent. Seek His face and earnestly repent. We serve a gracious and kind God who never turns away from His children.
Fall back in love with Jesus. Reflect on the ways that He has been faithful. Remember the ways you have tangibly felt Him respond to your prayers. Seek out people who will speak truth to you regarding the character of Jesus and how much He cares for you.
Be held accountable. Share with a trusted friend the journey you’re walking through. Allow them to ask you the hard heart questions because yes, it’ll suck at first. But it’ll help you grow and step into things you can’t even begin to imagine.
Do not fall into the lie that you have to incessantly be “doing” in order to love Jesus. There are times that we constantly try to live our lives like Martha- working hard and complaining when others are not working as hard, but we really just need to be a Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His voice. Our relationship with Jesus cannot be taken away by anything or anyone. It’s the most valuable relationship that we have. More important than our parents, our children, our siblings, our friends, and our significant others. So why wouldn’t we want to pour everything we have into that relationship? It’s worth it- every sacrifice, every hard conversation, every hardship. It’s worth it.