Sunday, April 27, 2008

Forgotten Love

I just got done watching Talladega Nights: The Ballard of Ricky Bobby so you’ll have to excuse the silliness of the opening illustrations, but they are pretty darn funny. So yesterday I had this great moment of clarity that I was not trusting in God’s plans and felt like I would just be able to sail into Sunday feeling like I was on my A game. Big mistake…The Holy Spirit came at me like a spider monkey, He was all jacked up on mountain dew, He scissor kicked me in the back of the head! We are going through this new series called Kingdom Come at Indy Metro. It’s an eight week jet tour through Revelation. I’ll admit Revelation is a book I avoid reading because of all the mystery and me not being able to understand a lot of it. That’s weird to because you would think that I’d love it because of all the beautiful metaphors and poetic imagery, that’s normally right up my alley. Anyways, today we got through the first letter written to the churches by Jesus, the letter to the church at Ephesus.

Write this to Ephesus, to the Angel of the church. The One with Seven Stars in his right-fist grip, striding through the golden seven-lights' circle, speaks: "I see what you've done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can't stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out. "But you walked away from your first love—why? What's going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall! "Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I'm well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle. "You do have this to your credit: You hate the Nicolaitan business. I hate it, too. "Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I'm about to call each conqueror to dinner. I'm spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God's orchard (Revelation 2:1-7, The Message)."

Jesus commends the church for their works, their deeds, and dedication to righteousness and the right ways, but finds fault in them because they have turned away from their first love. We’ve all seen the horribly cast soap-operas or TV talk shows, maybe you’ve been unfortunate enough to be a part of or witness a real life situation where a couple madly in love falls apart. The one party is oblivious to the fact they have fallen away while the other party is deeply in pain, heart broken. You always hear, “it happened so fast,” “you stopped spending time with me,” or “I’m just not in love with you anymore.” These are heart breaking remarks. What I realized this morning sitting in my chair with somewhat of a chip on my shoulder was that I’m good at doing, I’m a great at doing stuff, activities, or other tricks, but suck as a lover. I’m no good at loving God. So, I need to stop and think back to a time when I was infatuated with God, where the love was passionate and my heart almost burst with joy at the mention of His name. In those days I sought after His word relentlessly. For some reason now I find myself not wanting to pray or read the bible.

Part of this comes back around to my view of Scripture. I wrote a blog recently about this very subject. “Where we are in our lives, in our church, and what we do depends on how we feel or see Scripture (its authority).” That was the quote. Well, it makes sense that I would not want to read some old, archaic book about old Hebrew people. My eyesight is all messed up man! The reason I sought so hard after God in those early days of my love for Him was because I viewed the Bible appropriately, as a living, breathing Word. According to John, Jesus is the Word. If Jesus is the Word, it would make perfect sense for me to need to seek the Bible out as a time to spend with Him. How can I continue to love someone if I do not spend time with Him, if I fail to learn about Him. I’m a fool to believe otherwise!

I must be honest and confess that the only thing that has been consistent in this “funk stage” as I endearingly call it, is my failure to stay grounded in reading the Bible. So this morning as we read these words aloud, these words of a God who gave it all to be with us, I thought to myself, Yes, I have forgotten my first love. Oh how I miss it, how I miss the excitement of being in love with God. So on top of realizing I don’t trust in His plans I also realized I have forgotten my first love by not spending time with Him. Today was a rough day, we took communion and the entire time I prayed I would remember Him and the love my heart first had for Him, and although it was rough it was just what I needed.

May you find your first love, hold on to it, cherish it, may you not come to forget the love and continue in the works, this leads to burn out and frustration. May you love to love Him.

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