Is Jesus Still Your First Love?

By Barb Fisher
Allow your thoughts to re-visit the most significant life-transforming moment, when you responded to the wooing of the Holy Spirit, and surrendered your life to Jesus Christ. Re-connect your heart to the initial wonder of His Presence; the joy of His love; the consolation of His mercy. Rest there! Become enveloped in that Holy atmosphere as He draws close to you, because you have drawn close to Him. (James 4:8) You are re-“membering” yourself to your first covenant; your first love. Then ask yourself: How long has it been since you have marveled in His Presence and relished in His delight?

In Revelation 2, the One whose eyes were like a flame of fire speaks of the Church in Ephesus. He says that He knows of their works and labors. He knows that they persevered and did so for His Name’s sake, and that they have not grown weary. He speaks of how they cannot tolerate evil men and puts to the test those who call themselves Apostles, to make sure they are not false. Sounds like an effective, powerful church. But He goes on to say that He has something against them. They had lost their first love.

Gamaliel in Acts 5, advised the Council to be careful how they treat the Apostles for they may find themselves “fighting against God.” The weapons of our warfare are strong and mighty! (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) They destroy strongholds; tear down ungodly thought patterns. But where is our defense when God is set against us? It wasn’t that they didn’t love Him at all, it was that He was not their FIRST love. Colossians 1:18 tells us that Jesus is to have the first place in everything. Yes…EVERYTHING! We must never allow something or someone to matter more than the One who matters most.

In Matthew 7 Jesus makes a shocking statement. He says that not everyone who calls Him Lord is going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, MANY (yes, not a few, but MANY) will say to Him on that day that they prophesied, cast out demons, performed miracles all in His name! Jesus says to them that He never knew them. How can that be?

Are you a many, or are you one of the few? The Greek word translated knew implies a deep intimacy; to know someone through personal experience. Jesus was telling them that even though they performed  mighty works in His Name, they did not have an intimate relationship with Him. I hear many repeat Jesus’s words in John 14 that we will do greater works than He had done. Then they cite His miracles. I am not making light of His miracle working power, nor am I saying that God will not perform miracles through His church in this hour. But consider that compared to the amount of time Jesus spent pursing an intimate relationship with His Father, His miracles were a secondary work that flowed out of that relationship. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. How did He see what the Father was doing? By pursing an intimate relationship with Him. Yes, let’s believe for ALL of the works of Jesus to be greater. Let’s pursue a greater intimacy with Jesus than He ever had with His Father while here on the earth. Jesus said in John 14 that to know Him (to have an intimate relationship with Him) is to know (to have an intimate relationship with) the Father. Jesus was not their first love. Perhaps ministry had become their first love. The reality is, anything that steals our passion away from Jesus, replaces Him in our affections.

John 17:3 tells us that eternal life is not going to heaven someday. It is knowing God. Going to heaven is just the “cherry on top.” We have been saved for the purpose of having a deep, loving relationship with the Father. That is what was lost in the garden of Eden. The first man and woman lost the ability to walk and talk with God. The Glory covering they had enjoyed was gone. They were naked and afraid. Father knew that being in His Holy Presence, would destroy them. Therefore, He had to remove them from Paradise and provide a way for Him to continue to have a relationship with humankind by slaughtering animals and covering them. Only the Blood from a sacrificial animal can make it possible for a Way to be restored back to the Father. The Blood of Jesus (the sacrificial Lamb of God) makes it possible for us to have that relationship with Him once again.

Think of the price the Father paid. He withheld not His only Son from us. He gave His First; His Best; He laid His very heart on that cross to purchase our redemption; to restore to us the Way back to Him. The One who gave it all, requires it all. He will settle for nothing less than all of your love and devotion. He will never play second fiddle to a ministry, a work, a sin, a weakness, anything! How can we refuse such a love? What can ever be satisfying enough to replace Him in our desires?

How do we keep our hearts desiring Him first and foremost above all? At this point, I am searching for 3 effective bullet points that one could follow to ensure that their First Love remains just that. Let me ask you, would you want your spouse to follow steps to ensure intimacy in the relationship? Instead, I will just encourage you to listen to your own heart. Proverbs tells us that out of our heart will flow all of life’s issues. We are to keep our hearts, guard our hearts against anything or anyone that would attempt to steal our affections. Pursue God. Seek God. Everyday. Every moment. Keep your heart facing Him. Holy Spirit will direct your steps into a greater dimension of intimacy with the Father through the Son. Jesus made mention of how the Ephesian church never grew weary of enduring for His Name’s sake. I would encourage you to never grow weary of seeking Him, for those who seek, will find.
I challenge every reader to open your heart to Holy Spirit and respond to His gentle wooing.  Rejoice that you are your Beloved’s and your Beloved is yours. (S of S 2:16)
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