I have been teaching through Revelation at the Church I am one of the Pastors of – Refining Fire Fellowship http://www.refiningfirefellowship.com We have now come to the beginning of Revelation Chapter 3. You can follow along with the teachings at this YouTube video play list: Revelation Series
In having come this far, I have obviously already taught on Jesus’ letter to the Church at Ephesus. The title of this blogpost is referring to one verse of Scripture that Jesus spoke to them – Revelation 2:4. It says, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” WELL Christian, have you left your first love?
Here are 12 signs I gave during that teaching, that may help to show you that you have left your first love. Please examine yourself thoroughly, to make sure that this hasn’t happened to you. Self-delusion is a very dangerous thing. Let the Lord search your heart and reveal things to you:
- Your standards have dropped – What you used to call wrong (as long as it really was wrong), you now have no problem with and even engage in such things. When confronted on such sins, you seek to justify yourself and twist the Word of God in order to support you in your sin.
- Your sensitivity to sin has gone down – Sin doesn’t bother you like it used to…whether in your life or in the lives of those around you. It’s seen as “normal”, instead of the abnormality that it is.
- Jesus no longer satisfies you, like He used to – Instead, you seek satisfaction from other people and other things, first and foremost. Jesus is no longer the primary focus in your life. Job, family, entertainment, sports, hobbies and other STUFF are the primary focus of your life.
- You aren’t as hungry to read the Word of God as you used to be – You read it when you “get around to it”, instead of making it a priority in your life. You even make excuses like, “I’m too busy”, “I have too much to do”, “I’m tired”, “I don’t have time for that right now”, “I’ve already read the whole thing anyway”, etc. You have stopped memorizing the Word and studying it. If you DO read it, you are distracted and can’t remember much of what you read.
- The things that you stopped “caring about” when you became a Christian, you started “caring about” once again – These things may not necessarily be “sinful” in and of themselves, either. They simply could be things that distract you, entertain you or amuse you. These are things that you lost interest in when you became a Christian, since you now had better things to do. BUT NOW, you’ve become interested in them again.
- Your zeal for the things of God, has gotten weaker and/or are no longer a priority in your life – The temporal things seem more important than the eternal things. You don’t make time for evangelism, for being in fellowship with other believers or teaching your family the Word of God.
- No brokenness for the lost and where they are heading – You may have unrighteous anger towards them or even hate them, wanting them to go to Hell. There’s no compassion for people like you used to have. You have forgotten how wicked you were and where you have come from.
- No brokenness for the backslidden and their fate – You don’t even care if they come back to the faith or not. You hope that they die in their sins. You may not say it like that, but you truly don’t care.
- No brokenness over your own sins (if/when you sin) – You just give a rote “confession”, like your sin is no big deal. Then you move on and eventually commit the same exact sin again. There is a cycle of sin-repent-sin-repent.
- No power or anointing from God, when ministering to people – Your focus is off because of this. You may even be resorting to human wisdom, gimmicks, etc. when ministering to people, instead. The Word (which is sharper than any double edged sword) is not enough for you anymore, when ministering to people.
- Fasting and Private Prayer have taken a “backseat” – Are you praying and fasting? If you’re not intentional about prayer and fasting, they won’t just happen on their own. You MUST make them a priority, if you are going to survive as a Christian in this world!
- No Joy – Is there a song in your heart? – The joy of the Lord is our strength. Are you joyful in affliction? Does the joy of God overflow in your life, that you can’t help but to sing to Him?
If you find, after you have thoroughly examined yourself, that you have left your first love, then here’s your solution: Revelation 2:5a says, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” I hope that you give these points serious consideration. Your soul depends upon it!
This video may be helpful to you, as well: