Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Revelation 2:4-5 (NIV)
From Thursday of last week to Tuesday of this week, I was at camp with my church’s student ministry. This was the third consecutive year that I had the opportunity to go with them to camp, and as always, we had a spectacular trip.
I traveled with the students primarily to minister, but (as often happens when you go to serve) I quickly found myself being ministered to. Seeing life-change and watching students come to stunning revelations about the nature of their souls always sparks a transformation in my own heart and life.
This year, the message delivered to me turned out to be a very specific one.
Early on in the week, the youth pastor was speaking to the group about making a decision to declare Christ as Lord and Savior. He brought up the idea of losing all fear in asking one another that question of whether or not we were saved. As he was doing this, one of the students leaned over to me and asked me the question, and before I could answer, he jokingly proposed how ludicrous a notion it would be if I wasn’t in fact a Christian. After all that I had taught about in the ministry’s various Fuel groups, the rising-senior high school student talked about how much it would shock everyone should I answer “No,” to the question “Are you saved?”
The manner with which the young man talked really put me ill-at-ease. The truth was that the day before, I had been feeling incredibly off spiritually. Leading up to that week at camp, I would have talked about how everything in my life seemed to be crumbling except for my spiritual life.
All of that security evaporated after leading worship with some of the students. Once we had played our last song, I felt an extreme drought in the depths of my heart, and I fell to my knees. From then on, everything would seem extremely off. The next night before the worship service, I simply prayed, “Lord, what’s up?” It wouldn’t be until after the service and our group devotion time that an answer would come.
There are moments where the Lord decides to speak to me by giving me a song, and as I walked out of our devotion time, these words came out of my mouth accompanied by a melody: “I have lost my first love.”
As those words came, I feigned ignorance for a moment trying to pretend like those words weren’t emanating from Scripture, but the Spirit immediately reminded me of the reference.
In Revelation 2, Jesus is sending a letter to the church at Ephesus that, at first, seems to be greatly praising them. In fact, it is greatly praising them. They are doing a lot of things right. They had been doing a lot of things right, but they had lost sight of their first love.
I sat there and read through Revelation 2:1-7. It reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13, and from these verses, I composed a song of my own called “My First Love.” As I wrote the words and played a simple yet heartbreaking progression on my guitar, I found myself in tears over the truth of the words. I had truly lost my first love.
As I finished writing the song that sent me into a bit of a tailspin, I started asking myself: “Where is the love? Where has it gone? How do I get it back?”
I had been faced with an incredibly heartbreaking truth that, to me, demanded action. I needed to fix the problem.
As I continued to meditate on the problem, I came to some very interesting conclusions.
To be continued tomorrow.