Read Revelation 2
Focus on verse 4-5
I have always enjoyed the opportunity to sit by a campfire in the evening hours to watch the flames as they dance and swirl amongst the hot coals as the fire dies down. It becomes mesmerizing after a while and as a result I often lose track of time and don’t notice that the fire is nearly out until I begin to miss the warmth of the flames in the cool night air. At this point I typically have to make a choice – do I add more wood to make the fire flare up again? Or do I allow it to die completely and choose to go inside the house to retire to bed?
In today’s reading John relays a message from Jesus to the church in Ephesus warning them that they seem to have lost their first love – that passion they had in the beginning. Somehow the fire that inspired them at the start had been allowed to burn low and was in danger of going out.
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place, unless you repent.(v. 4-5)
The passion of our spiritual life has a tendency to ebb and flow as we plod our way through life. Typically our walk with Jesus begins with the excitement of the joy of feeling like we have found the purpose and destiny for which we were born. As time progresses we find that we cannot stay on that mountaintop, and or passion begins to level off as we discover that our journey with Jesus is not all a bed of roses. We begin to feel the resistance of the enemy, and just the daily grind of life that does not magically disappear the moment we choose to follow Jesus.
The long and the short of it is that when the spiritual passion begins to wane, we have a choice, just as I do when my campfire burns low – either we put more fuel on to stoke up the fire, or we choose to allow it to die and we find something else to do as the fire goes out.
While God’s desire is always that we choose to follow and serve Him, as always, He leaves the choice in our hands so that when we choose Him, He knows that it is because we love Him.