You “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 from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” (Rev 2: 3-5)
To have a good worship team in the church is a great blessing. The choir has to pay the price for a greater anointing so that the overflow will touch the congregation. If not, the doubts and the fears of the people will infiltrate the hearts of the ministers and an evil religious spirit takes over. Many churches are backsliding and are in great danger of losing their ‘light’. Not any gathering is a living church. It’s a tragedy to lose the anointing coming from Jesus; His special Presence that makes a church a living organism and a part of His Body. Without the light of Jesus, without the Holy Spirit, the assembly becomes a spiritual corpse, a dangerous gathering for the benefit of the kingdom of darkness.
The church in Ephesus was busy and zealous working for the Lord. The brethren had endured much suffering and persecution. No one was backsliding, at least not outwardly. All these things are good, the Lord says. But we are confronted here with a love-rebuke: ‘nevertheless’ … The Lord always looks at the heart of worship, at the motives of doing ministry. Their labor looked fruitful to men but it did not ‘impress’ God. They labored out of religious duty and have lost contact with the fire of their ‘first love’.
The love for the Savior Jesus Christ will always be your ‘first love’. It is called ‘first’ because when you got saved, that was the first time you had an encounter with God, who is Love. You love God for He first loved you (1Jn 4:19). Out of the overflow of such a love, you are able to love others. But the source of this passion can never change. ‘Remember the height from which you have fallen…’ The true passion of Jesus in your soul is able to lift you up, to go to the top of the mountain of Holiness, to worship and dwell in Zion. The power of that first love is stronger than any other attraction in the world. It is a fire that burns and cleanses and changes you, like nothing else can do.
How do you ‘forsake your first love’? It is when you take God’s grace for granted, when you grieve the Holy Spirit, when you neglect the quiet times of prayer and the study of the Word, when you lust after the things of this world; when you indulge in sin and you ignore your wounded conscience…The word ‘forsake’ means to abandon your responsibility to worship the Lover of your soul; to betray your Best Friend; to fail your God’s given destiny. These are all strong words, but the sin against love is a crime that has no cure, except to come back in true godly sorrow and repentance. Is it possible that the love for Jesus becomes lukewarm, that His name does not ‘move’ you as in the past? Backsliding in the heart is a religious plague, a shameful secret sin that corrupts long before its signs are seen by others.
What is the solution? Two words: REMEMBER AND REPENT!
The devil is happy when you forget the Cross, the price paid to save your soul. Our memory is weak and needs refreshing daily. Gaze on the Crucified until, like a lens in the sunshine, the light start to burn your heart. Remember the nails, remember the Blood!
The devil will also tempt you to refuse to repent; to remain a proud stubborn religious hypocrite; to do ‘church work’ to be seen by others. To repent it means to change the way you think, to turn around and start making new type of choices, always led by the Holy Spirit.
Pray for personal revival and for revival in your church. Do not accept a boring religious routine in your relationship with God. Come back to the Cross! Be filled with the Holy Spirit once again!
May the Lover of my soul ‘strengthen me with raisins and comfort me with apples, for I am faint with love’ for You, my Lord! (SS 2:5)
In Christ I declare:
I love God!
I love Jesus Christ, my Savior, my Lord and the Lover of my soul!
I love the Holy Spirit!
I will never forget Christ Crucified and His Blood that saved my soul!
In Jesus name