It’s a classic tale we’re all familiar with. Boy meets girl. Boy shows love in many ways to girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Another treats girl badly. Boy gets angry and seeks to protect girl. Before long his attention is more on protecting her from her “attackers” than loving and serving her. Girl gets sad and feels the boy no longer loves her. Girl breaks up with Boy.
What… don’t recognize this story? Well it’s right out of the Bible. Just substitute the “girl” for God and the “boy” for us (or the Church of Ephesus specifically) and the “attackers” for false teachers and prophets. And you have Revelation 2:1-7.
The Church had been loyal to God all this time but in their zeal to defend God from the false teachers and prophets, they turned their attention more to them than to God. He starts off praising them, “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.” (v 2-3) God appreciates that they love what He loves and hate what He hates.
However, He adds a ‘but’. With their over attention to those who were against God, they spent more and more energy dealing with the things they were against instead of focusing it on the one they were for. “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 lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (v 4-5)
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been this church. It was never that my love for God was depleted, but my irritation of the world rejecting Him would distract me. I was spending more time discussing the failings of the world and less on just spending time with Him.
God certainly wants us to spread His gospel, share His story and make disciples. But there will be people we attempt to sew into who simply reject Him. We need to love them and pray they don’t remain lost, but trust Him who is in control. More than blasting the failings of this world, more than arguing the problems where our culture is falling apart, more that pointing out the problems that people need to repent for… He simply wants us, to be with Him, to spend time in His Word and in prayer with Him.
In this season, many of us get WAY too distracted with cultural problems and fall into the Ephesus trap (I’m guilty of this). But He calls us to direct our attention to Him above all else.
I pray that you appreciate my blogs. They are my way of journaling as I read His word. If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button left of this post AND to spread the word. Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.