In the book of Revelation, Christ dictated letters to 7 pastors in Asia Minor. The pastor of the church in Ephesus was told the following…
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.”
The pastor of Ephesus was doing great things. The church was flourishing. The people were being fed and protected. They were overcoming in spite of many adversities. How could the Lord possibly be displeased with that?
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which 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 lampstand from its place.”
Very simply put, this pastor allowed the work of the ministry to replace his relationship with the Lord. A great truth that I’ve heard again and again is, “Don’t become so involved in the work of the Lord that you forget the Lord of the work.” God was concerned with this pastor’s lack of relationship. He said that this pastor had forsaken his first love.
This is an easy trap to fall into. As the church began to grow and the demands of the ministry started to escalate, time with the Lord became harder to set aside. Before long his relationship time with Christ got pushed into the corner of “when it’s convenient.”
I’d like to say that this problem was only a part of the early church. But some things never change. I believe that there’s a greater pull on us now to overload our schedules. There are so many opportunities to be involved in good things; that we have very little time for our spiritual walk.
Remember that it wasn’t always like this. When you first came to Christ, you were excited about what He was doing in you. Maybe you spent late nights on your knees in prayer. You prayed for souls to be saved. You prayed for wisdom, strength, and boldness. You knew that you didn’t have a chance of fulfilling the Lord’s calling on your life without His working in you.
Things have changed now. You’ve become wiser – more experienced. Now you know what living for Christ is all about. You feel more secure in your calling as a believer.
Please realize that there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a good thing to become mature in Christ. The problem comes when you no longer feel the need to pray as much. You don’t seem to need God’s help like you used to. You know what living for God is all about now.
The diagnosis is that your relationship with the Lord has grown cold and it grieves the heart of your Lord and King. Have you become so busy with the work of the Lord that you’ve forgotten the Lord of the work? Test yourself. You need to be brutally honest. Has your time with the Lord suffered?
It’s wonderful that you’ve grown in maturity, but that’s not the issue. The question is; are you spending TIME with the Lord as you used to?
Question: How would you rate the quality and quantity of time you spend with the Lord?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015