I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:2-5
The church in Ephesus was filled with survivors who didn’t tolerate moral bankruptcy or fake claims to leadership. They endured hardship and persecution; they rejected wicked people and false teaching. In the midst of these admirable qualities, they had fallen from great heights and landed directly in a rut.
The direction is clear: do the things you did when you first became a Christian. Remember the joy and excitement you had when you began taking God seriously? What about that feeling of anticipation and expectation you the moments before going to church or having a quiet time?
It’s not enough to say, “I WANT THAT FEELING BACK.” Everyone wants that feeling, even people who have been stuck in the rut for a long, long time.
We have to do something. We have to stop forsaking our first love and do the things we did at first.
Repenting is never easy, because we have to admit we’re wrong, wrong to the core about something really important. We don’t mind admitting we’re wrong when it’s safe. It’s a whole new story when we have to sacrifice our ego.
When I first became a Christian, I spent a lot of time reading the Bible, making notes and writing out my questions. I journaled nearly every day because I didn’t want to miss anything God might be teaching me. Sometimes I forget to do these “first things” because I pridefully label them as “basic,” thinking that I’m too advanced for those baby steps (I’m ashamed that sometimes I even think, “I don’t need to read this passage in Scripture, I’ve read it a million times before”). Nothing could be further from the truth! Leaving behind the “first things” is a sure way to remain in the rut.
What were those first things you loved to do? If you want to get out of the rut (or avoid it), you need to do the “first things” always. Here’s a great goal: live every day of faith as if it were the first day. Rediscover the “first things” you did to grow, and pursue them with all of your heart.