Rekindle Your Passion for the Lord ...
Return to Your "First Love!"
Have you ever wondered why some people don't have the same zeal for the things of the Lord that they did when they were first saved? They have become lax regarding the time they spend with Him and in His Word.
Before my husband Wally and I were in the ministry, I knew a man who was just like the Apostle Paul. He was so "on fire" for the Lord that every time we saw him, his face would just glow with the love of God. Each time we had chance to fellowship with him, he would tell us about people he'd witnessed to, and describe such beautiful revelations from God on how to witness. He had a real passion for Jesus. But as years went by, we lost touch; and later, I heard he had become cold and indifferent. He had compromised his faith. Jesus had become his pastime, not his passion.
Some time later, this man's wife got turned on to the Word through our Bible school and got excited about the things of the Lord. She went home and built a fire under her husband again! Now he's turned around, on fire for the Lord, and is moving in the same kind of beautiful revelation knowledge that he once had. God's Word turned him around and it can do the same for you if you've lost your first love!
When we are first born again, we fall in love with Jesus and He becomes the all-consuming passion in our lives. But sometimes we lose the passion for Him, and He becomes pastime rather than our passion. Oh, we love Him, but we slip into the "l-have-everything'' mentality: "I have two cars, a nice house, three bathrooms, Mastercharge and Visa, and by the way, I have Jesus." That's the lukewarm attitude of a lukewarm Christian; and God hates lukewarmness.
In Revelation 3:16, God says that He will spew lukewarm Christians out of His mouth! If you are experiencing any lukewarmness in your Christian life, God wants to turn that and give you back your first love.
When we study Chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Revelation, we see that there are two Church Ages that exist at the same time. They are at the end of the ages, the time during which the Rapture will occur. That is the time we’re living in right now. The Philadelphian Church Age is characterized by brotherly love. The Laodicean Church Age is characterized by lukewarmness. Only those who share the characteristics of the Philadelphia Church are going to be raptured; those who are lukewarm will be left behind.
The lukewarm person views Christianity as his pastime, not his passion; he becomes a hypocrite. There is much more openness for a cold person to listen to the Lord than for a lukewarm person. The prodigal son was a cold person: but while he was cold, God spoke to him and got him back on track. His brother, on the other hand, was lukewarm and God had a harder time dealing with him.
How can you identify a lukewarm Christian?
Revelation 3:17 gives you a clue:"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor; and blind, and naked." These are symptoms of the lukewarm Christian. He thinks he doesn't need anything. Yet God says that he is poor, blind, and naked. Fortunately, God has provided a solution! The Lord has provided a means for lukewarm Christians to become hot for the things of the Lord, because often they are so blinded that they don't know the way out. And God can turn you around to the place where you can say, "Because I have Jesus, I am blessed beyond measure.
Take the "Word Cure"
The remedies for being poor, blind, and naked, found in Revelation 3:18, can restore us to the place God desires for us: "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
God's solution, His counsel, is "gold tried in the fire." The true gold is God's Word. Every born-again believer who has prayed a promise and has received an answer to prayer has experienced "gold tried in the fire." Every time you take hold of the Word of God, you know it has already been through the fire, so it's already gold. The cure for the lukewarm Christian is to take hold of the Word of God. Don't hold onto circumstances; those make you poor. The Word of God is what will make you rich.
Now, some of you are going to say, "But, Marilyn, when you're lukewarm, it's an effort to get into the Word." You're right, it is an effort to read the Bible; but if you will do it anyway, it can bring you out of the lukewarm state and make you hot. Remember, when we are pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, we are pressing for a passion for Jesus, not a pastime. The more we press into Jesus, the more we want to study His Word. The better we know Him, the more we want to draw close to Him.
God’s cure for "nakedness" is found in Revelation 3:18. We need white raiment "...that you may be clothed; that the shame of your nakedness doesn't appear." Our raiment is the robe of righteousness. First John 3:7 says"... let no man deceive you: he That doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous." You can't lead a "secret life" or "double life" in which you go to church on Sundays but practice sexual impurity the rest of the week. You may think nobody knows it, but God knows it! That's being lukewarm, and the lukewarm person misses a life of abundance, health, and harmony.
God says to anoint your eyes with eye salve to cure any blindness.
Lukewarm Christians really don't "see" spiritually what God is doing. They come and do their little church thing. They read their Bibles some, but have lost their first love and are not really seeing people, circumstances, God's plan, or the move of the Spirit as God sees them.
But God says they don't have to be blind. They can have eye salve (the Word) -rubbed in their eyes to see their lifestyle the way God sees it. God knows how to change a lukewarm heart!
Repent and Rekindle
God cares. Jesus says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Revelation 3:19). I don't know about you, but sometimes I don't like people to correct me. Yet God says "Because I love you, I'm·here to correct you, to turn you around." God loves us enough to correct us.
Jesus gives a wonderful promise to the Church in Revelation 3:20: "Behold I stand at the door and knock if any man hear my voice, and open the door I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." If you repent and take hold of His Word and His righteousness, then use the raiment and eyesalve that He provides, you will see the way He sees and you will return to your first love. If you are born again, you are a part of the Church and cannot afford to be lukewarm.
You cannot afford to say, "l'm rich, I'm increased with goods." God says that kind of person is poor, naked, and blind but he doesn't have to stay like that. He needs to repent, turn from being lukewarm, and return to being zealous for God and jealous for the kingdom. "Zealous" means "red-hot, boiling over, just turned on."
Furthermore, zealous and jealous have the same meanings in the Bible. Therefore, the church that is zealous for God is a church that is jealous for God's work. And that's the kind of church God wants. Are you a lukewarm Christian? Do you want to get right with God and make Him your passion instead of your pastime once again? Let's pray right now:
"Father God, I want to return to You and make You my first love once again. I repent of my "l-have-everything'' mentality; and, instead, I turn to You as my provider. I choose to get into Your Word and to draw closer to You. Rekindle the fire under me so that I will once again be a person who puts You first in my life. I surrender my life to you, Lord. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."
If you would like someone to pray with you about returning to your "first love," call my Prayer Center at (303) 796-1333 Monday-Friday, 4 a.m.-4:30 pm. (MT).