I grew up in church. I prayed the sinner’s prayer literally at least 200 times in my childhood. I was always afraid I didn’t get it right and would go to hell. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I finally realized what that prayer was about. I knew all the answers but I didn’t really understand that it was about a personal relationship. When people said they loved God I didn’t comprehend how that was possible. It was more about submission to avoid punishment in my mind.
When I finally accepted Jesus into my heart and truly got it, it changed my life. I loved God. I was thankful for Jesus and the sacrifice he made so I wouldn’t have to pay the price I deserved. The fear of hell no longer consumed me. I was excited about going to church. I wanted to tell others about God and about the relationship I had. I wanted the light of Christ to shine through me. I was excited to read the Bible and pray. I was very involved in my youth group. I enjoyed everything about God. I was eager to know more and share with others.
Since then I’ve had my ups and downs in my relationship with God.
We all make choices that put a wall between us. We get busy, we put God on the back burner. At the end of the day I realize I haven’t spent any time with God and I fall asleep reading or praying. I choose not to get up early to read or pray. I don’t make God a priority like I used to. I make excuses.
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 lamp stand from its place. Revelation 2:4-5
There it is. That not so gentle reminder that I’ve gotten away from where I started.
Sometimes we need a fresh start in life, in our relationship with God. We think we know it all so we stop seeking after him. We get content with where we are. But we need to go back to the place where we first began our walk with God. Back to the place where we first got excited about our salvation.
Get back to the love you first had for God. The love that consumed you. The desire to know him. To the place where you need to fellowship with him each day.
Be excited about reading, praying, spending time with God. Find that desire to share him with others. Remember that feeling of knowing someone was going to hell and the urgency you felt to share Christ with them. Be the light in this world.
Anytime you feel like you are losing the love and passion you had for God remember these verses. Repent and do the things you did at first.