What does it mean to lose your first love?
The question references the scripture in Revelation 2:4 which reads: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The Spirit of God was speaking to the congregation in Ephesus.
Take note that this congregation had taken a stand against evil and was doing much that was good and right. While obedient in theology and in much doctrine, the Ephesians had lost the strong affection and connection with God that they had one time experienced. The JFB commentary says it thus: “Their warmth of love had given place to a lifeless orthodoxy.”
The scripture often compares the relationship between man and Christ to the relationship between a husband and wife. Consider a newly married couple who is in love and experiences that spark of devotion. They want to spend time together and make many sacrifices for each other. Their marriage is dynamic and full of life.
As so often is the case in our sinful world, many couples lose the passion and fervency. They begin co-existing, living in the same house, but the warmth of love has been lost. Similarly, this has happened to many a person in their relationship with God. Someone newly saved experiences a wonderful time in their guilt-free state of peace and grace. Over time, if the relationship is not maintained, the person can either go back to sin or continue doing the ‘right’ things without the zeal of their first love.
Those who have lost their first love are commanded to repent. There are many individuals and congregations who have taken a stand against evil but have lost the fire of love that once burned. They have lost the essence of what God desired from them in the first place—a relationship of love.
It is the passionate love of God that brings the fire in service to God. Let us not fall prey to the dullness of being doctrinally correct without the love to give it life. A relationship takes time. It must be guarded from things that could encroach upon it.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). Many have lost their first love because they have given their love to the things of this world while maintaining a stand that is fundamentally ‘doctrinally’ correct. God becomes their “second love” or worse. Their time, energy, attention, and affections are centered on other things.
This brings a lethargy in living for God and there isn’t a lot of zeal to spread the gospel. There is a form of godliness. It is important to reevaluate our lives and fervency to be sure we are not losing our first love.
As a husband and wife need to communicate and spend time together to keep the love strong, so it is necessary with God. It is vital to nurture our ‘first love’ by reading the Word of God, praying, keeping connected, and putting God first in every decision. Most importantly, let love be the motivation for service and for doing right.
It is in this first love experience that you will find the passion of sharing the gospel and the anointing in daily living. It brings doctrine alive and gives reason and joy for being.