If you have been keeping up with my most recent blogs, you have probably taken notice of two developing themes — humility and adoration.
There’s a reason for this…
At the beginning of this year, God said the following things to me:
“I want to grip you with what ﬁrst gripped you… capture you with what ﬁrst captured you… captivate you with what ﬁrst captivated you.”
These words embody what I truly believe God is seeking to do in the lives of His children over the course of 2019.
Before we continue, we must ﬁrst qualify what it is that ﬁrst gripped, captured, and captivated us. Secondly, we must answer how we arrived at these states of being.
The former is evidenced in a story I’ve been referencing a lot in previous blogs — the story of Mary and Martha (see Luke 10:38-42).
It is in this very story where we see and learn of the posture that God desires us to live in.
Whereas Martha is worried and bothered by many things, Mary has chosen what is good. She is found sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to His word.
She is utterly captivated by the person of Jesus.
She isn’t looking for answers to her questions. She’s gazing into His face.
She’s living oﬀ of every word that proceeds from His mouth.
She’s smitten with Him.
Please make no mistake: It’s who He IS, not what He DOES that captures us.
He is love (see 1 John 4:8).
He is meek. He is humble (see Matthew 11:29).
It’s these two qualities — humility and love shown through forgiveness — that He has been speaking to me about the most this year.
This is what FIRST gripped us.
In fact, if you hadn’t already noticed, it’s the word “ﬁrst” that is the most repetitive out of every other word what God spoke to my heart for this year.
We also see this word in a letter written by John the Beloved to the angel at the church of Ephesus and it is by no means a coincidence.
It’s in this letter where John, under the direction of Jesus, praises them for all that they are doing right. They don’t tolerate evil men. They put those that are false to the test. They’ve persevered in their works. But there’s this ONE thing that Jesus has against them.
But I have this against you, that you have left your ﬁrst love. — Revelation 2:4
The Passion Translation says it this way:
But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning.
What is Jesus saying?
He’s saying this: “I want to be the center of your aﬀections again. Your heart used to beat for Me and I used to be the object of your desire. I was ﬁrst, but other things have crept in and have stolen your gaze. These things have stolen your heart, but I want it back.”
To have left your ﬁrst love is to leave the person of Jesus.
The greatest and highest call of my life is to love Him with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my strength, and all of my mind.
I love that.
That means the greatest life I’ll ever live is found in the reason why I was created in the ﬁrst place.
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a place where your heart hasn’t been burning with passion and love for Jesus like it did at ﬁrst.
Maybe you’re left with the glowing embers of what used to be a raging ﬁre of aﬀection.
I have good news for you.
God wants to breathe His breath on what’s smoldering.
He wants the ﬂames of love to rise again.
We’ve already discussed that God wants to capture, grip, and captivate us with who He is again, but how is He going to do that?
The answer is simple.
He’s going to have us revisit His kindness and love that was put on display through forgiveness (see Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:10).
It’s those that have been forgiven much that love much (see Luke 7:47).
Sometimes we want things to be so complicated… but it’s the simplest revelations, those that children can understand, that are the greatest.
With Easter weekend dawning upon us, spend time thinking about that cross.
Think about what it means and what it’s shouting.
God loves you. Period.
He is winning our hearts again by causing us to get in touch with what ﬁrst turned them.
- Brian Connolly, Itinerant Minister & Author