Chuck Swindoll said, “The problem with life is that it gets so ‘daily.’” Even those of us who like routine sometimes may grow weary of the same schedule, day in and day out. Are you tired of plodding through life? Like a plane on “automatic pilot,” our prayers can be repetitive, predictable, and even humdrum; we go through the motions. Ever wonder if God really hears our prayers? When faith feels stagnant and prayer becomes repetitive, we need to return to our first love. The remedy could be as simple as admitting un-confessed sin. Nevertheless, if you have feelings of distance or apathy toward God, reach out to him and ask him to reignite your passion.
Returning to our first love is to revisit the day, time, hour when we allowed God to take control of our lives. It’s stepping back into the memories and the experience of how God’s grace changed us. Remember how it felt when you first found out God loved you? Someone once told me if I were the only person who ever lived on the earth, Jesus would have died for me. That’s amazing love! I remember asking Jesus into my heart at age seventeen, a drug addict and alcoholic, compulsive liar, and drug dealer. I had been trying to clean up my act and couldn’t do it on my own. When I gave the control of my life over to God, I was filled with his tender love, and my desire to take drugs was taken away immediately. I was set free from bondage and couldn’t wait to share with everyone what God had done.
Saul of Tarsus encountered God on the road to Damascus. Struck down by a bright light, he fell on his face, and the voice of God asked, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4 (NIV). Literally blinded by the experience, Saul didn’t eat or drink for three days, yet God’s love touched his hardened heart. Saul received spiritual insight, regained his physical sight, and began to preach about the amazing love of God.
Encounters like Saul’s Damascus road experience are rare, but first-love encounters with God are not. If we revisit, remember, and return to the passion of our first love, it renews our minds and revives our hearts. This truth is meaningful and penetrates even the darkest season of disappointment or loss. With my dad’s funeral services last week, I’m mindful of it during this stage of my grieving process. Thankful that my Father is preparing a place for me in heaven, I hope my mansion is right next to my dad’s. Let the restoration and renewal begin.
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” —Revelation 2:4
May I pray for you?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for us. Even when we were on the run from you, you sought us and captured us with your grace. Thank you for offering us new hope through your son’s sacrifice. Would you restore our passion? Would you return us to the state of our “first love”? Thank you for hope and healing. May we share your love with others so they, too, may realize what it means to be totally and completely loved by God. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.