“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires” Ephesians 4:22
Has your love waned? Have you walked away from your original devotion, affection, attraction, interest, warm attachment, adoration or gratitude for Christ? Is the glitter and sparkle of your relationship with Jesus no longer there? Has Christ been pushed out of the way, relegated to second place? Are you simply going through the motions of a faith that’s essentially a side show? If you have, if you’ve “forsaken your first love” (Revelation 2:4), then read on to discover why your initial joy and satisfaction in Jesus has ebbed into passive indifference. There are three possible reasons:
Firstly, love wanes through lack of devotion. When your affection and loyalty for Christ doesn’t surpass everything else, your love for Him grows cold. To prevent this happening you must identify whatever’s competing with your love for Christ. This isn’t an easy task. Your devotion can be diverted by any number of things. For example: Believers can get caught up with dogma at the expense of devotion. They can allow a system of beliefs to take the place of the One in whom they believe. If it’s more important for you to guard your doctrine than it is to love Christ then you’ve forsaken your first love. Having identified what’s competing with your love for Christ, you must deal with the problem. Two things are necessary: 1. Make sure your tongue doesn’t get in the way of your trust, that the things you say about people don’t come into conflict with your faith. In 1 John 4:20 it says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” 2. Make sure your head doesn’t get in the way of your heart, that a religion of the mind doesn’t exclude a passionate relationship with Jesus. For you can have right doctrine but fail to be in right relationship with Christ and you can have right practice but fail to be in intimate communion with Christ. In 1 John 3:18-19 it says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.”
Secondly, love wanes through lack of desire. When we desire something, we crave it more than anything else, nothing else will satisfy. Ask yourself the following questions: What do I crave more; prosperity or Christ, power or Christ, pleasure or Christ, pasta and pudding or Christ, prominence or Christ? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Luke 12:34.
Thirdly, love wanes through lack of denial. In Ephesians 4:22-24 Paul says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitudes of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” When you become a believer, you can’t continue to be attracted to the things of the world. A relationship with Jesus is an all or nothing relationship. Christ wants first place. He refuses to be second best. He’s a jealous God (cf. Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 5:9; Joshua 24:19; Nahum 1:2). He essentially says, “Everything with the old life has to go.
It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!” As Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” Luke 9:23.
So love wanes through a lack of devotion, a lack of desire, or a lack of denial. Now for some action. If your love has waned it’s time to do something about it. Seize the day. Repent of your sin and return to your first love. “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22), and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” Matthew 22:37.