The days, weeks, months, and even years after I first fell in love with Jesus were the sweetest of my life. He was my one desire—I was ready to give up everything and anything for Him—and I did. Lust struggles, materialism and online shopping addictions, inconsistency in the Word, abuse of Netflix—these all fell beautifully into submission under the overarching question that convicted me constantly: “does this bring honor to the Lord?”
I will never forget those first memories of intimately knowing and seeking the Lord. I was ravenous for the Word and joyfully willing to obey it. But somewhere along the way, daily faithfulness became hard. Passion was replaced with apathy.
I recently was reflecting on this spiritual low I had found myself in, and was sick of my wandering. I missed God, and I wanted to figure out where I went wrong. Here’s what I got.
1. I made idols.
It’s easy to sing the song lyrics, “You can have it all, Lord” or “all to Jesus, I surrender.” But let’s be real with ourselves…where do our real priorities lie? In other words:
What do you consistently choose
over time with the Lord?
That’s likely to be your idol.
What are idols in your life that, though they may have started out as good things, have taken preeminence and are now distracting you from your Father? Is it social media, the pursuit of financial security, exercise, or excessive time spent at work? Is it your friends, your significant other, your kids? Think through any idols that may be present in your life. Now, how can you practically reign those idols in, and put the Lord back in His proper position?
And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. | Colossians 1:18
The second reason for why I found myself with a dampened love for the Lord:
2. I did not make the sacrifices necessary to keep Him first.
We live in a country that prioritizes comfort. But what if comfort was what we needed to give up to know the Lord more intimately? What if knowing Him more meant sacrificing evening plans or losing one hour of sleep in order to get up early to meet with Him? Is He not greater and worth more than all wordly things? Yet why are we often so unwilling to sacrifice the trivial for the eternal?
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. | Psalm 119:105
If we’re not in the Word, we have no compass with which to guide our path in a lost world. And so reading the Word is imperative. But doing this with a busy schedule means sacrifice.
What of your time commitments must you
let go of to make room for the Lord?
And the third reason for my lackluster walk:
3. A lackluster prayer life.
Praying in your car on your way to work is great, but there’s something wonderful about single-minded time with the Lord. Prayer is incredibly powerful, and it changes things (Acts 9:40, Matthew 21:22, Psalm 107:28-30).
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed. | Mark 1:35
Here we see how important prayer is through our Savior’s example. Jesus was God Himself, but even the Son of God sought time in prayer with the Father. Jesus also, like us, was busy- but even with days full of ministry, He made time, early in the morning, to be in prayer alone with God.
Do you make time every day for focused,
private prayer time with the Lord?
In closing: As believers, we can never lose our salvation but we can lose love for the Lord. We can let sin and distraction creep in, and live entire lives devoid of effectiveness, boldness, or joy.
Or, we can choose Christ over everything.
Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God. | Hebrews 12:1
Why endure? Why discipline our bodies, and throw off idols? Why make all necessary sacrifices to know Him more, make Him known, and seek Him first?
Because our entire life is the smallest gift
we could ever offer to the Savior
who loved us and gave Himself for us.
And because we don’t run forever—one day there will be rest. Just as Jesus endured the cross by looking forward to the coming joy, in light of the joy waiting for us beyond this world, let us press on, dear Christian.